The two biggest news stories in Toronto are the preparations and security for the G20 Summit and the FIFA World Cup of soccer. These are also the two big topics of conversation in the kitchen at my office space Toronto. Now that the building that houses my Toronto office space is included in one of the yellow security zones for the G20 summit, people are talking about it. Just as much as they are talking about some of the unexpected upsets at the world cup. No one expected the Swiss team to defeat the Spanish powerhouse, the Spanish have been predicted as one of the teams that is expected to win the World Cup.
I have never been a big soccer fan, but there is something about this World Cup that has caught my attention. I have never been able to watch a full match on TV, yet these past few days I have watched a few full matches. This is partly due to the fact that so many people I encounter are talking about it and the fever is rubbing off on me. The other reason for watching is to be able to keep up with the water cooler chat.
When talking with a client this week, the discussion of water cooler chat came up. The client is a productivity consultant. They told me that one of the biggest problems facing entrepreneurs is isolation. Many entrepreneurs have either home offices or isolated small office space locations that do not bring them into contact with other people on a daily basis. This isolation can often lead to dry spells of creativity. As a consultant to entrepreneurs, he often tells his clients to find downtown office space that have common interactive areas.
The G8 and G20 summits coincide with the opening matches of the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup. The first two games of the second round of play are scheduled for June 26, when the G8 meeting is set to end in Huntsville, allowing the leaders of the older powers to make their way to Toronto for the start of the G20 meeting, which concludes the next day.
It would be interesting how the many G20 delegates will be spending their time when not in meetings. Will they be trying to keep up with how their country is doing in the World Cup? If you have ever seen footage of an international summit or the UN, you will see delegates with headphones so they can get interpreted dialogue of what the other summit members are saying. I wonder how many will have the interpreter in one ear and the world cup in the other. I actually think it would be quite funny if a delegate from country A was proposing a negative sanction on country B, at the same time as the delegate from country B hears that his team just scored… He is crying out “Yeah” while other delegates are thinking he is in support of the sanctions against his own country.
I also wonder what these delegates to the G20 are doing when they are not in meetings. I could just see the prime minister of England playing a friendly game of fussball with the president of the United States. And what about the countries leaders like Canada, who did not qualify for the World Cup, who are they cheering for? Will Stephen Harper be cheering for Nigeria, just to keep on their good side? It would be great to be a fly on the wall during this G20 Summit.