Michelle Obama talks entrepreneurship, social issues, more at WWDC

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2017
The second day of Worldwide Developer Conference opened with a conversation with Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, and Lisa Jackson, Apple's Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.




The two worked closely together for several years, as Jackson formerly served as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 through 2013 before she joined Apple.

Obama discussed her experiences in the White House, including efforts to address childhood obesity, support military veterans and their families, to inspire young people to achieve higher education and global efforts to help girls attend school. She specifically noted that there are still many areas around the world where girls still aren't considered worthy of an education.

"Think about how somewhere in your work, in your life you're bringing somebody else up," Obama encouraged the audience, which packed the massive convention hall to capacity.





After an initial discussion, Jackson presented a series of photographs and asked Obama about the story behind the scenes, starting with an image of the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in support of voting rights for African Americans--a peaceful demonstration that was met with the violence of Bloody Sunday.



Obama also commented on a photo depicting her "Let's Move" initiative to plant gardens in the White House lawn and involve school children in the cultivation and harvesting of produce, as well as describing a visit to Cambodia where she met girls who worked

Thank you @MichelleObama for sharing your views on diversity & innovation, and for encouraging developers to make the world a better place. pic.twitter.com/IlJRBcb5Di

-- Tim Cook (@tim_cook)


Following the hour long discussion, Obama received a standing ovation and was greeted on stage by Tim Cook, who posed with the pair to take a selfie including the audience in the background.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    macxpressvukasikajSnivelytmayronn
  • Reply 2 of 36
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,980member
    Great to listen to her!
    MacProvukasikajSnively
  • Reply 3 of 36
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    Lol, well, that's a bit of a straw man. Disagreeing with other's viewpoints doesn't equal hate. That said, I don't think it was the right call to have Michelle Obama there.* I mean, the messages were great.. diversity, empowering women (who, on a global scale, are often horribly oppressed by ancient patriarchal thinking). But I don't think Apple needs a politically polarizing figure to send those messages.

    *(I hate to make a negative comment on a DED article, which I usually love. But I think this is an important point/discussion to have).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been taking some unfortunate stances related to politics that go beyond protecting individual rights, and it's not surprising that climate change became part of the discussion, since it's become such a political issue. It's particularly unfortunate as the science is still unsettled: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/2965632/#Comment_2965632 (comment ~52, about the ice core samples).

    Just to be clear, overall I think Tim Cook is doing an excellent job, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the role at this time in Apple’s history. However, it’s really unfortunate that Apple seems to be making some politically motivated missteps.

    While having Michelle Obama talk may indeed be inspiring for many (particularly young women), it is *also* exclusionary to people who don’t identify with her politics, which I think is very unfortunate. Contradictory to many peoples' beliefs, no one side (right or left) has a monopoly on the right answers. Apple should rise above the partisan fray. Apple should be for everyone.

    Slightly OT, on the subject of the environment:

    I think most people, myself included, feel the environment is a very important issue. To that end, I hope, as both an Apple fan and as an Apple shareholder, that Apple doubles down on recycling, forest preservation/sustainability, and responsibly obtaining resources. I actually feel very strongly about this, and would even be happy for Apple to use its expertise in habitat preservation and recycling to provide environmental initiatives as a service, by giving customers the opportunity to purchase offsets (akin to carbon markets) for their personal recycling and paper consumption (as these particular environmental issues are current, concrete, impactful, and measurable); Apple is one of the handful of institutions that I would actually trust to do something like this.

    edited June 2017 randominternetpersonboltsfan17techprod1gyalphafoxNotsofast
  • Reply 4 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    Lol, well, that's a bit of a straw man. Disagreeing with other's viewpoints doesn't equal hate. That said, I don't think it was the right call to have Michelle Obama there.* I mean, the messages were great.. diversity, empowering women (who, on a global scale, are often horribly oppressed by ancient patriarchal thinking). But I don't think Apple needs a politically polarizing figure to send those messages.

    *(I hate to make a negative comment on a DED article, which I usually love. But I think this is an important point/discussion to have).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been taking some unfortunate stances related to politics that go beyond protecting individual rights, and it's not surprising that climate change became part of the discussion, since it's become such a political issue. It's particularly unfortunate as the science is still unsettled: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/2965632/#Comment_2965632 (comment ~52, about the ice core samples).

    Just to be clear, overall I think Tim Cook is doing an excellent job, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the role at this time in Apple’s history. However, it’s really unfortunate that Apple seems to be making some politically motivated missteps.

    While having Michelle Obama talk may indeed be inspiring for many (particularly young women), it is *also* exclusionary to people who don’t identify with her politics, which I think is very unfortunate. Contradictory to many peoples' beliefs, no one side (right or left) has a monopoly on the right answers. Apple should rise above the partisan fray. Apple should be for everyone.

    Slightly OT, on the subject of the environment:

    I think most people, myself included, feel the environment is a very important issue. To that end, I hope, as both an Apple fan and as an Apple shareholder, that Apple doubles down on recycling, forest preservation/sustainability, and responsibly obtaining resources. I actually feel very strongly about this, and would even be happy for Apple to use its expertise in habitat preservation and recycling to provide environmental initiatives as a service, by giving customers the opportunity to purchase offsets (akin to carbon markets) for their personal, overall recycling and paper consumption (these environmental issues are current, concrete, impactful, and measurable); Apple is one of the handful of institutions that I would actually trust to do something like this.

     

    I agree with everything you say, however, you made a rather large leap in interprettng my meaning.   I meant the actual haters, not the sort you were talking about.  You know those that simply hate her and her husband with a weird but undeniable passion and spent the last eight years making it abundantly clear.  Your assumption I meant all those that disagree with her or her husband's politics was not my intent, sorry you took it that way.  
    dementuschikanronn
  • Reply 5 of 36
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    Lol, well, that's a bit of a straw man. Disagreeing with other's viewpoints doesn't equal hate. That said, I don't think it was the right call to have Michelle Obama there.* I mean, the messages were great.. diversity, empowering women (who, on a global scale, are often horribly oppressed by ancient patriarchal thinking). But I don't think Apple needs a politically polarizing figure to send those messages.

    *(I hate to make a negative comment on a DED article, which I usually love. But I think this is an important point/discussion to have).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been taking some unfortunate stances related to politics that go beyond protecting individual rights, and it's not surprising that climate change became part of the discussion, since it's become such a political issue. It's particularly unfortunate as the science is still unsettled: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/2965632/#Comment_2965632 (comment ~52, about the ice core samples).

    Just to be clear, overall I think Tim Cook is doing an excellent job, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the role at this time in Apple’s history. However, it’s really unfortunate that Apple seems to be making some politically motivated missteps.

    While having Michelle Obama talk may indeed be inspiring for many (particularly young women), it is *also* exclusionary to people who don’t identify with her politics, which I think is very unfortunate. Contradictory to many peoples' beliefs, no one side (right or left) has a monopoly on the right answers. Apple should rise above the partisan fray. Apple should be for everyone.

    Slightly OT, on the subject of the environment:

    I think most people, myself included, feel the environment is a very important issue. To that end, I hope, as both an Apple fan and as an Apple shareholder, that Apple doubles down on recycling, forest preservation/sustainability, and responsibly obtaining resources. I actually feel very strongly about this, and would even be happy for Apple to use its expertise in habitat preservation and recycling to provide environmental initiatives as a service, by giving customers the opportunity to purchase offsets (akin to carbon markets) for their personal recycling and paper consumption (as these particular environmental issues are current, concrete, impactful, and measurable); Apple is one of the handful of institutions that I would actually trust to do something like this.

    I’d have to say that everyone in the room (which was packed) was thrilled to have her.  Definitely a decent human being and it wasn’t polarizing except there were two slams, one by Tim Cook (but very light) and one where Michelle mentioned we need to believe in things like diversity, immigration, global warming... but tasteful and not mean spirited at all. Michelle Obama was just down to earth and full of grace and poise with a great message and challenge to make the world a better place.
    edited June 2017 ronn
  • Reply 6 of 36
    MacPro said:
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    Lol, well, that's a bit of a straw man. Disagreeing with other's viewpoints doesn't equal hate. That said, I don't think it was the right call to have Michelle Obama there.* I mean, the messages were great.. diversity, empowering women (who, on a global scale, are often horribly oppressed by ancient patriarchal thinking). But I don't think Apple needs a politically polarizing figure to send those messages.

    *(I hate to make a negative comment on a DED article, which I usually love. But I think this is an important point/discussion to have).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been taking some unfortunate stances related to politics that go beyond protecting individual rights, and it's not surprising that climate change became part of the discussion, since it's become such a political issue. It's particularly unfortunate as the science is still unsettled: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/2965632/#Comment_2965632 (comment ~52, about the ice core samples).

    Just to be clear, overall I think Tim Cook is doing an excellent job, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the role at this time in Apple’s history. However, it’s really unfortunate that Apple seems to be making some politically motivated missteps.

    While having Michelle Obama talk may indeed be inspiring for many (particularly young women), it is *also* exclusionary to people who don’t identify with her politics, which I think is very unfortunate. Contradictory to many peoples' beliefs, no one side (right or left) has a monopoly on the right answers. Apple should rise above the partisan fray. Apple should be for everyone.

    Slightly OT, on the subject of the environment:

    I think most people, myself included, feel the environment is a very important issue. To that end, I hope, as both an Apple fan and as an Apple shareholder, that Apple doubles down on recycling, forest preservation/sustainability, and responsibly obtaining resources. I actually feel very strongly about this, and would even be happy for Apple to use its expertise in habitat preservation and recycling to provide environmental initiatives as a service, by giving customers the opportunity to purchase offsets (akin to carbon markets) for their personal, overall recycling and paper consumption (these environmental issues are current, concrete, impactful, and measurable); Apple is one of the handful of institutions that I would actually trust to do something like this.

     

    I agree with everything you say, however, you made a rather large leap in interprettng my meaning.   I meant the actual haters, not the sort you were talking about.  You know those that simply hate her and her husband with a weird but undeniable passion and spent the last eight years making it abundantly clear.  Your assumption I meant all those that disagree with her or her husband's politics was not my intent, sorry you took it that way.  
    Ah, thank you for clarifying. I hope you'll forgive the assumption; part of my motivation was also to convey to anyone else reading that I'm merely disagreeing, rather than hating. As you pointed out, emotions tend to run high around these types of issues, and I'd like to dissuade any potential ad hominem battles, if possible.
    edited June 2017 MacProdementuschikan
  • Reply 7 of 36
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,079member
    I try to avoid this kind of discussion, least of all it turns to be out of control argument and admin have to close the thread due to political sensitivity.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,880administrator
    kevin kee said:
    I try to avoid this kind of discussion, least of all it turns to be out of control argument and admin have to close the thread due to political sensitivity.
    "Political sensitivity" has little to do with it.

    Some forum-goers behavior has everything to do with why we close them. I've discussed this at length already, regarding front page Google indexing versus Forums versus Political Outsider.

    That said, it's time for everybody to read the commenting guidelines, as we've cleaned up some comments over the line of our commenting guidelines. As a reminder, you're all being watched. The ability to comment on political-related posts has only been reinstated because I petitioned for you lot to have it. It can be easily shut down again, as can the entire forums -- as they drive only a small proportion of traffic and take a lot of labor.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 9 of 36
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 546member
    Don't see the point in obama being there. 

    Apple let shouldnt be shoving their politics down people's throats. 

    Cook cant find a keg be thing to say about Trump, but invites obama to a tech conference...

    Lots of better folks to talk talk on such subjects. 

    Which begs the question... isn't this an app dev conference? 

    Lame. And that's simply the truth. 
    alphafox
  • Reply 10 of 36
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 329administrator
    We want to leave discussion open on this topic, because we think the issues discussed at the event were of value. However, we're not going to tolerate posts that are needlessly political or otherwise bump up against the edges of our commenting guidelines.

    Let's try and keep it on topic, and please be respectful both about the subject matter and to each other. if not we will simply close the thread.

    edited June 2017
  • Reply 11 of 36
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,804member
    Maybe Apple should hire Michelle Obama.    Put her in charge of Apple  TV and Apple Music.    I bet she would do better than Eddy Cue (Glad I didn't see him in the WWDC keynote).   

    And by the way there are some things like Immigration where I agree with Trump and believe the democratic party are on the wrong track.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    ktappektappe Posts: 770member
    Apple let shouldnt be shoving their politics down people's throats. 

    She didn't really talk much about politics, and nobody "shoved" anything down anyone's throat; attendance was *optional*.

    Obama really said nothing controversial, so if you object to her chat you might want to look in the mirror and examine why.
    spice-boydementuschikanronn
  • Reply 13 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,410member
    Michelle Obama was invited by Apple (or perhaps by one person at Apple) to speak at WWDC on issues like entrepreneurship? Why? She's not an entrepreneur. She's not known for historically speaking out in favor of capitalism. She's a lawyer. This was a 100% political calculation on the part of Apple. And if she's charging anything like her husband recently charged Wall Street to speak, she's being paid a substantial amount.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/25/15419740/obama-speaking-fee

    I think next quarter I will vote in favor of any and every shareholder proposal requiring Apple to divulge these kinds of politically motivated expenditures.
    edited June 2017 patchythepiratetechprod1gyalphafox
  • Reply 14 of 36
    ktappektappe Posts: 770member
    next quarter I will vote in favor of any and every shareholder proposal requiring Apple to divulge these kinds of politically motivated expenditures.

    Good luck with that. The rest of us shareholders will vote status quo to keep Apple on track to becoming the first $1 Trillion company. 
    SpamSandwichspice-boydementuschikanronn
  • Reply 15 of 36
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 329administrator
    Michelle Obama was invited by Apple (or perhaps by one person at Apple) to speak at WWDC on issues like entrepreneurship? Why? She's not an entrepreneur. She's not known for historically speaking out in favor of capitalism. She's a lawyer. This was a 100% political calculation on the part of Apple. And if she's charging anything like her husband recently charged Wall Street to speak, she's being paid a substantial amount.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/25/15419740/obama-speaking-fee

    I think next quarter I will vote in favor of any and every shareholder proposal requiring Apple to divulge these kinds of politically motivated expenditures.
    I don't feel like they touched on anything she was particularly unqualified to talk about. She spent a lot of her time as first lady working on equality issues (especially for women, but also for minorities), and as first lady she had access to a lot of people and information most don't. Besides, at the end of the day her values line up really well with Apple's as a company, and those values are extremely important to Apple as a company. Jobs made sure of that a very long time ago.
    anomemacxpressronn
  • Reply 16 of 36
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,179member
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    I thought Obama was the worst president in my lifetime but I still think it would be cool to meet any president/first lady regardless of political affiliation.
    SpamSandwichicoco3
  • Reply 17 of 36
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,410member
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    I thought Obama was the worst president in my lifetime but I still think it would be cool to meet any president/first lady regardless of political affiliation.
    Perhaps. Living in a part of the country where famous people are almost as common as "normals", I've learned that even famous people are still just people.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    jkichline said:
    MacPro said:
    How cool, wish I'd been there.

    Close thread fast before the haters come out!
    Lol, well, that's a bit of a straw man. Disagreeing with other's viewpoints doesn't equal hate. That said, I don't think it was the right call to have Michelle Obama there.* I mean, the messages were great.. diversity, empowering women (who, on a global scale, are often horribly oppressed by ancient patriarchal thinking). But I don't think Apple needs a politically polarizing figure to send those messages.

    *(I hate to make a negative comment on a DED article, which I usually love. But I think this is an important point/discussion to have).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Apple has been taking some unfortunate stances related to politics that go beyond protecting individual rights, and it's not surprising that climate change became part of the discussion, since it's become such a political issue. It's particularly unfortunate as the science is still unsettled: https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/comment/2965632/#Comment_2965632 (comment ~52, about the ice core samples).

    Just to be clear, overall I think Tim Cook is doing an excellent job, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the role at this time in Apple’s history. However, it’s really unfortunate that Apple seems to be making some politically motivated missteps.

    While having Michelle Obama talk may indeed be inspiring for many (particularly young women), it is *also* exclusionary to people who don’t identify with her politics, which I think is very unfortunate. Contradictory to many peoples' beliefs, no one side (right or left) has a monopoly on the right answers. Apple should rise above the partisan fray. Apple should be for everyone.

    Slightly OT, on the subject of the environment:

    I think most people, myself included, feel the environment is a very important issue. To that end, I hope, as both an Apple fan and as an Apple shareholder, that Apple doubles down on recycling, forest preservation/sustainability, and responsibly obtaining resources. I actually feel very strongly about this, and would even be happy for Apple to use its expertise in habitat preservation and recycling to provide environmental initiatives as a service, by giving customers the opportunity to purchase offsets (akin to carbon markets) for their personal recycling and paper consumption (as these particular environmental issues are current, concrete, impactful, and measurable); Apple is one of the handful of institutions that I would actually trust to do something like this.

    I’d have to say that everyone in the room (which was packed) was thrilled to have her.  Definitely a decent human being and it wasn’t polarizing except there were two slams, one by Tim Cook (but very light) and one where Michelle mentioned we need to believe in things like diversity, immigration, global warming... but tasteful and not mean spirited at all. Michelle Obama was just down to earth and full of grace and poise with a great message and challenge to make the world a better place.
    Thanks for the info Jkichline. That's great to hear, I'm sure it was tasteful and well done. However, to your comment, and a couple others on this thread: no matter how amazing she is, the fact that she is married to the recent President of the US is reason enough for her not to be invited to speak, not because that diminishes her in any way, but because she is, unavoidably, politically polarizing. This *particularly* at a time when partisanship and political discord is has reached completely insane levels. It seems like poor judgement for Apple to make political statements that alienates so many people. Apple could have had the same messages without the political polarization. 
    edited June 2017 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 19 of 36
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 546member
    ktappe said:
    Apple let shouldnt be shoving their politics down people's throats. 

    She didn't really talk much about politics, and nobody "shoved" anything down anyone's throat; attendance was *optional*.

    Obama really said nothing controversial, so if you object to her chat you might want to look in the mirror and examine why.
    I already explained it. 

    No no reason to have it since there are more qualified people to chat on such things. 

    It as a a politically motivated move. 

    So be it. It's Cooks prerogative. 

    But thats what what it was. 

    If if you think it belonged at WWDC, more power to you. 

    I dont. And I have just as much right to say so as you do. 
    Notsofast
  • Reply 20 of 36
    JakeTeleJakeTele Posts: 1member
    YOU are the one who is making it "political". Her and her husband's party affiliation have NOTHING to do with advocating for women rights to be educated across the world and for more women to be accepted in the male dominated tech industry. Regardless of party she was a FIRST LADY. She NEVER once crossed the line by stating what government should be doing right now or by pushing a politically charged agenda. Your idea that they should get someone less polarizing because some politically over sensitive nuts out there may not like it, is ridiculous. Grow up & try to stay away from the conspiracy garbage. It's WWDC not a poltical convention. 

    P.S. Tim is homosexual do you think everyone has a positive opinion on that? Should we get someone who is "more widely accepted" to host WWDC also while we pretend to follow your play book?
    edited June 2017 smiffy31dementuschikanronn
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