This year’s annual TED conference in Vancouver had an impressive lineup from all walks of life. Everyone from Serena Williams and Jorge Ramos to artificial intelligence experts.
But on Tuesday evening there was an unlisted speaker who took the audience by surprise: Pope Francis. He didn’t appear in person, but rather on the big screen, with a message that called for a “revolution of tenderness.”
“Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude,” Francis said. “It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility. Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”
His talk also addressed the concerns of children, the sick, prison inmates, and migrants “in search for a brighter future”
“I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing,” he said. “I could have very well ended up among today’s ‘discarded’ people. And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: ‘Why them and not me?'”
The Pope also had a pointed message for those in positions of power and wealth
“People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money and things, instead of people,” he said. “And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves ‘respectable,’ of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.”
The pope is no stranger to technology, in fact, his Twitter account has more than 10 million followers, and he continues to be a strong supporter of scientific and technological evolution. He spoke about how “wonderful” it would be if such innovations and advancements went hand in hand with equality and social inclusion.
Around 400,000 people around the world have already watched the pope’s video and seen him tell “the story of today’s humanity.”