Home Nightlife Back to the UN: Challenging Critical Thinking, a Gala.

Back to the UN: Challenging Critical Thinking, a Gala.

Photography by Benjamin Greve.

The Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization (IREO) held its 2nd annual Energy Awards Gala at the UN last night, in recognition of upstanding individuals’ commitment to “challenge conventional wisdom and encourage critical thinking to create positive reform.” The mission of the IREO is to provide an international platform upon which the most influential individuals in the world, from all sectors, can meet.  Hopefully, long-term relationships will be formed and framed around the pursuit of creating a completely sustainable world.

This mission statement appears ambitious, and the copious amount of red tape encountered just getting in to the UN reminded me of the trials and terrors of bureaucracy.  Have you ever visited the UN?  I am now savvy to the etiquette of passing through the Visitor’s Center—take my hand and let me show you.  Got it?  Good.  Now let go, because going through the metal detectors you are going to beep and, after passing through about 3 times, they will ask you to raise your hands above your head and walk through again.  I still beeped at this point, but this time my posture, with hands ridiculously brushing the plastic cover of the staple-shaped detector and skirt all the much shorter for it, I was nodded through.  One woman in front just squeaked in as well, chandelier earrings swaying wildly as she struggled to maintain balance atop six-inch heels, with thick, shiny diamond cuffs weighing down her outstretched arms.  We were in.


The United Nations is a beautiful place, displaying the pomp and circumstance of kings, presidents, and the wonderfully entitled Goodwill Ambassadors—as if there were any other kind! This evening the main, marble-ensconced foyer hosted two tables, one for coat check and one for sign-in.  After discovering that the press tags were double-sided, I hastily took the one with scallywagandvagabond.com on the one side and left a Mr. Matthew McDermott of PlanetGreen.com, featured on the other, to his own devices. Sorry, Matt, you may or may not have missed a good party!  Now to the accolades, of which there are many.

Ascending the cool escalator to the second floor, because the elevator does not deign to come to ground level, I admired the myriad art and sculpture adorning the walls, all appearing to stand upright, to shine a bit brighter this evening in silent entreaty—“great things are accomplished here,” they whispered, “so come on in and have a Patron mojito (courtesy of John Paul de Joria, Goodwill Ambassador and owner of Paul Mitchell System, Patron and Sun King Solar), but don’t forget to read the nameplate.  We are all here for some reason or another.”



  1. Thanks so much for your kind words about my son, Nikos Spiridakis! I am extremely proud of his determination to get his PSA made. He inspired so many, including myself to help get his message out. I appreciate that that Robson Mello the Secretary-General made Nikos a Jr. Goodwill Ambassador. If it weren’t for his offer. I would not have known about the IREO, let alone end up getting to work for this wonderful organization.

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