Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL, Washington, DC January 13, 2014— Thinking Outside the Boxe has released the transcript of founder Robert M. Clinger III’s closing remarks at the think tank’s annual symposium held in Orlando, Florida on January 1, 2014. Mr. Clinger’s closing remarks capped off the week-long event that included several round table discussions, the question and answer session with guest panelists, and a special New Year’s Champagne Summit at which participants discussed the outlook for 2014, offered resolutions for America, and toasted the future success and stability of the nation.
The transcript of Mr. Clinger’s remarks follows:
“This has been a remarkable symposium, and I thank you all for participating and giving your insights. I can’t think of a better way to have celebrated Thinking Outside the Boxe’s tenth anniversary. This has been a truly special year marking a decade of work and our dedication to an effort bigger than own individual interests. We wouldn’t be here without all of you who participated in our symposium this year, all of those who have participated in our symposia over the last decade. More importantly, we couldn’t have done it without all those followers who have supported us by reading our articles and studies, by giving us feedback and sharing our work with their friends and family, and by attending our symposia. I’m forever grateful for that support.
This marks our tenth annual symposium. We’ve come a long way since those early days when we had just a couple of colleagues here and we had to lure friends and family to our symposia with free food and wine. But even then when we were less organized and far less impressive than we are now, we had some great dialogues and debates and we sparked an interest in new topics. And that kept us going.
Though we’ve come a long way and many things have changed, some things have stayed the same. From the beginning, I wanted a forum where people could speak freely without fear of reprisals or attacks from those of opposing views and those in the public who thrive on tearing people down so that they feel better about their own insignificant existences and their inability to accomplish or offer anything. So, our tradition of allowing our colleagues to remain anonymous if they so desire has withstood the test of time and has enabled the free exchange of ideas, regardless of how unpopular or controversial they may be. And we’ve kept this symposium quiet and limited for the same reasons. We’ve had many requests to video our events and put the videos on line, and we’ve respectfully declined those requests. We’re not about media sensationalism. We’re not about fame. We’re about making America and our society better through thoughtful examination of problems and commentaries intended to open minds and hearts.
At the end of each of these events, I’ve always tried to take one thing away. I’ve always tried to find some message or theme that really stood out. In my mind, last year’s symposium was about guardedness. We talked a lot about the economy and politics, and it seemed everyone was still down and concerned. The general somberness and disgust that we’ve had for the last four or five years continued. I guess that was pretty warranted over the last few years as we navigated through some dark and challenging times with the economy and political gridlock and here at Thinking Outside the Boxe with the unexpected, sudden loss of one of our greatest colleagues. A lot of times these last few years it seemed hopeless; it seemed as if there was no point in continuing our efforts.
But this year, having talked to a lot of people and our guests here, I’m taking away a message of cautious optimism. We still have problems as a nation, but I think the general mood is that the American people are waking up. They’re not as naïve as they were a few years ago, and they’re not willing to blindly accept the same old rhetoric coming out of Washington. It seems people are less intoxicated with hope and change and are waking up to the realities of the world and the problems that plague our nation and our politics.
I know that each and every one of us here want the best for America. We all want it to be the best it can be, however our opinions may differ on how best to accomplish that greatness. I know that by working together and keeping the discussions going we will continue to contribute to the effort of making America great once again.
Thank you all again for participating in this event. I am forever grateful for your time and energies in making this such a success. God willing, we’ll all meet here again later this year to participate in another productive symposium and champagne summits. Until then, think big, think outside the box, don’t be afraid to say what you think, keep an open mind, and together we can make a difference.”
Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Annual Symposium provides an opportunity for political strategists and commentators, business leaders, economists, and individuals interested in nonpartisan examination of current events to gather for debate and roundtable discussions on economic conditions and the outlook, geopolitical events, domestic politics, foreign policy, business conditions and outlook, societal issues, among other topics. Guest speakers and panelists also participate in various questions and answer sessions throughout the symposium, taking questions from attendees or questions submitted via social media outlets or http://www.ThinkingOutsideTheBoxe.com.
About Thinking Outside the Boxe—Thinking Outside the Boxe is a private, nonpartisan think tank that is dedicated to providing a wide variety of perspectives on issues that are of interest to the general public. The views that are expressed in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentaries and research are often times uncommon, provocative, and controversial. Thinking Outside the Boxe’s mission is to formulate and promote positions and to provide research, independently, that would otherwise be deprived of an outlet in the mainstream media. Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentators and researchers seek to broaden the parameters of public knowledge by addressing issues in such a fashion as to provoke thought and debate on some of the most pressing issues of our day.
Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Champagne Summit series began as a side event to the annual symposium held in December each year. Increased interest in the Champagne Summits by participants and guests led Thinking Outside the Boxe to expand the Champagne Summits to one event per quarter in addition to the annual symposium. Thinking Outside the Boxe also began offering a limited number of individual tickets to the quarterly Champagne Summits.