Video Remarks for Concordia Summit Public-Private Impact Award

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 5, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Hello, everyone. Again – and I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you in person to present this year’s Public-Private Impact Award. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Drew O’Brien and all of our finalists for their outstanding work.

I expect that if I turned to almost any of you and asked what’s made this award so meaningful to so many, you’d probably point to Drew. And that’s because he really understands what this effort is all about.

From addressing the need for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa to promoting entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia to lifting people out of poverty, no government can find and implement definitive solutions on its own. Treaties are negotiated by governments, but lasting peace and prosperity are created by people. That’s why governments need to combine their strengths with those of the private sector and civil society. And it’s why the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships has teamed up with Concordia and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on the Public-Private Impact Award.

The goal of this award is as clear as it is compelling: To recognize and inspire the next generation of public-private partnerships, because the best ideas are never limited by borders, and we need all the good ideas that we can get. Believe me, that’s not an argument; it’s a simple statement of fact.

And this year, I am very pleased to announce that our Public-Private Impact Awardee is the TV White Space-Supported Fisherfolk Registration Partnership.

This partnership is drawing on unused television channels to make registration easier for fishing communities in the Philippines. It’s also restoring the health of local ecosystems to produce more fish, feed more people, and create more jobs. That’s the very definition of paying it forward. And it is giving new life to the old saying, “teach a person to fish.”

As an industry, fishing is timeless, and so is the need for partnerships that bring us together in support of ideas that create shared prosperity and improve people’s lives. So a huge congratulations to this year’s winner, and thank you to all of you who participated. And keep up the terrific work.