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Summit Day T minus 1 and counting...

Flying USA to Bali is one of the longest flights possible on the planet, at about 20 hours in flight. Any further and it's quicker to come around from the other side. It was then great to see a familiar face during the layover in Hong Kong - it turns out Sam Daley-Harris and Eileen White Read of the Microcredit Summit Campaign were also on my flight! While waiting to process an entry visa, I had a chance to chat with a tourist from Australia about current events. She was excited about Obama, with comparisons to Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy and the possible impact of his campaign. That led to a conversation about microfinance and the difference between 'trickle-up' vs. 'trickle-down' approaches to addressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. Our conversation concluded with the idea that government policy plays a large role, however local actions driven by economic incentives can bring the broadest impact. After a Rp. 50,000.00 taxi ride (that's $5US) In Bali on the way to lunch with Denise Hughes today we ran into Mr. Bambang Isamawan of Gema PKM, Professor Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank, and Sam Daley-Harris.

  (from left: Katheleen, Mr Isamawan, Professor Yunus, Sam, Elizabeth, and myself)
Tomorrow the summit begins. We're excited to see where microfinance is going. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay tuned!