I get to meet some of the world’s extraordinary people. I have traveled to dozens and dozens of countries across the globe. I have witnessed some of the late 20th century’s and early 21st century’s historic moments. So far, you might think that’s why I feel fortunate – like you perhaps?

But, it’s not that I have been able to document some of those moments in close quarters with my camera with world leaders such as Prime Minister Blair and President Bush as they prepared and then went to war with Iraq.  Or ‘shooting’ President Karzai, who has the dubious world record of having had the most assassination attempt on his life.  Or that I have traveled with His Holiness the Dalai Lama across the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.  Even, that I spent five weeks as the All Blacks, the world’s most successful professional sports team prepared for their winning bid at the Rugby World Cup.

No, the reason I am so fortunate is that I have had the privilege to reach some of the world’s remotest corners of the planet: the Khirghiz of Afghanistan in the Pamir mountains, a three-week journey by foot from the capital Kabul; ridden a horse to reach the Tsataan reindeer herders in the remote forests in Siberia; traveled with dromaderies with the Tuareg of Libya, Niger and Mali…

But more importantly, in areas of war and civil conflict, in countries facing extreme poverty, I have met some true heroes, people whose resilience have shown me that in adversity they have shown what the human spirit can achieve. You have probably never heard of Abbas, a 13 year-old who spends 363 days a year down a dangerous mine shaft hewing rock to find gold.  You have probably never heard of Mariatu the survivor of a barbaric act of violence.  Or Mah Bibi a ten year-old, head of household and therefore a bread-winner for her two younger brothers…

Their stories, and what they have taught me, are worth their weight in gold.  They are not what we would call ‘connected’, but they understand the true meaning of connectivity.  They don’t belong to a single ‘social network’, but their social network can be the difference between life and death. Most have surprising stories – over many years now and in some cases over the past two decades – I have returned time and time again to follow the changes in their lives. I believe that many of them have honed the skills of entrepreneurship down to a fine art.  Most of those I have photographed have shown a surprising spirit of sacrifice and survival and they have shown a resilience second to none. It is their remarkable stories that I would like to tell you about.  How we, with so much can affect change, but they, with so little manage miracles…

So, I have given you a little taster.  When I speak to you at the Skoll World Forum, I would like to elaborate on this, so in not giving away too much – otherwise you might not show up!

NICK.