Good morning. I want to take this time to recognize Dr. Beth Stroble, President, Webster University. Dr. Stroble, thank you for honoring us with your presence. I want to welcome to Webster all the people from around the world who are watching us via webstream.
My favorite equation in mathematics is the original equation, one from which all other equations evolve. In my opinion, it is the holy grail, the irrefutable law of mathematics. It is the convention in conventional wisdom. 1+1 equals 2. And so may I dare suggest to you this morning that this universal truth may become something of our recent past? The reason: Twitter.
Twitter has successfully created a new equation which states that, 1+1 equals countless possibilities.
1+1 is equal to 3, to 300, 3 million. It is equal to the power of the written word - 140 characters, succinct and precise. Twitter is equal to the possibility to make a difference, to be a contributor to society for the greater good of mankind. Twitter is becoming the definitive equation of our time not just for its simplicity but also for its exponential potential of increase.
One of the ways in which we verify the overwhelming impact of a product and an idea is when it becomes a verb, a part of our lexicon.
Much like Google, Twitter has become a universal descriptor for sharing ideas in a concise format that speaks to universality, democracy, immediacy and transparency.
Twittering is a conversation between two people yet the definition of two is singular, infinite and boundless. Twittering has become a language unto itself. Words and symbols strung together in a deliberate order to create spontaneous, and sustained, bursts of ideas.
Twitter has in effect dismantled the constraints and boundaries of time and space between us. And has become an enabler of ideas that has empowered the young and the young at heart to share and stay connected the world over.
Twitter has fundamentally transformed the way we talk and listen to one another; the manner in which we inform each other and has extended and strengthened the power of the written word.
And so if I were to state the impact on society in 140 characters or less, I'd tweet "Twitter is to our generation what Guttenberg's printing press and Bell's telephone was to theirs."
In just three short years, Twitter's 40 million users have made it a public forum for the discussion of politics, business, culture, news, celebrity, gossip and idle chatter.
People are tweeting to raise money, to recruit talent, to make government more responsible, to find and distribute news, stock traders are tweeting to reconnect with traders elsewhere. People are tweeting in search of knowledge, to build personal or business networks, or to just kill a little time with friends and family.
In the new book by Shel Israel, entitled Twitterville, the author makes a convincing yet compelling case that Twitter's worth is not only the ability to broadcast short messages, but also the ongoing and transformative conversation that these tweets can ignite.
My friends, you know, every generation produces individuals who come along and make life better for those around them. They are notable individuals who rise from small and big places. They come from humble beginnings, unrecognizable even while in our midst. They are innovators, doers, ordinary people who enable others to achieve what has never been done before. And so, today, The School of Communications and The School of Business & Technology at Webster University welcome an innovator, born on Grand Avenue, raised in Compton Heights, Bishop DuBourg High School graduate. On behalf of my colleague, Dean Debra Carpenter, I ask you to please join me in giving a warm St. Louis welcome to our very own, the creator, co-founder and chairman of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.
"The very essence of our role as faculty is for us to be good teachers. "
- Dr. Benjamin Akande
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