David Train is a former Olympic coach for canoe racing and one time CEO of manufacturing companies. In 1991 he wrote an article connecting his work in industry and sport. He mentioned the work of Dr Deming and as a result met Myron Tribus who asked David to help him to get a message to America about Dr Deming's work. It became David's passion. He invented a Bellboat, so called to draw attention to 'variation', created events and wrote stories for 'Children of All Ages', as the first steps into systems thinking. In 1992 he saw on TV the Speaker of the House of Commons telling a story to children about the two parallel red lines on the floor of the House. They were originally put in place when Members of Parliament carried their swords with them, and are two sword lengths apart. The Members were not allowed to cross the line to prevent Members killing each other if the debate became too fierce. David realised that he could tell a story about conflict to co-operation by transforming a wooden sword and shield into a Paddle for Life.
David was a keynote speaker at the Deming Conference in Birmingham in 1993, where he presented the ideas and met Alan Winlow. Alan, a keen environmentalist, suggested to David that if he had found a way of getting a message to America then he had to include the problem of climate change. David's passion became his obsession! In 2005 David was a keynoter speaker at the Deming Conference at Purdue University in Indiana. He made the point, as Dr Deming did many times, that in any system, unless the person at the top is on board, all the good work done by those in the system is almost always wasted. In terms of Climate Change, David pointed out that at this time in history the most powerful nation on Earth was the United States, and the most powerful person was the President. Without the President on board then little would happen.
David told the conference about the Paddle for Life ideas and then events lead him back to America, where, whilst visiting professor at Purdue, he made his own Paddle for Life, Liberty and Freedom. Signed by many people at Purdue and Winona, he returned to England and a 'special cause' led him to the idea of getting national leaders to sign the paddle. They included Lord Coe, the Speaker of the House of Commons and in April Tony Blair. Now David hopes to have it signed by President Bush. The paddle will be used as a perpetual trophy for the Main University Boat Race for the Blue Planet, which it is hoped will be started by Neil Armstrong in the Fall of 2007, drawing the whole world's attention to the problem of climate change and showing them how, in the Deming way, to bring all on board, to solve the greatest systems problem ever facing humanity.
David tells the story of the voyage.
Climate Change: Bringing the world on board with a paddle for life.
David Train, Olympic Canoe Coach in four Olympics is on a mission to bring systems thinking to the world through Bell Boating, a school on water; a raft of Leadership Philosophy. It gives people a greater understanding of systems, teamwork, and cooperation. David has achieved remarkable results here and in the USA. Prime Minister Tony Blair and Michael Martin, Speaker of the House have signed his paddle for climate change, as will David Miliband. Hear the story first hand.