Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn with Steve Nunn

During the lock-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Steve Nunn, owner of Nunn Better Consulting, has been forced to change the way he does networking. With a mission statement that includes helping companies integrate their acquired businesses, not being able to form face-to-face business relationships at SACC and other meetings, presents a huge challenge. By dedicating two to three hours per day to using LinkedIn, he has managed to grow his network of contacts and he is offering some useful tips for creating a valuable network.

Almost anybody can create a large network in LinkedIn; the trick, he emphasizes, is to make it valuable. Therefore, merely adding people to your list will not lead to more sales or more work. A “quality” network is one in which most of your contacts are potential clients; people who may buy your products or hire you. Steve believes that LinkedIn is the best tool for finding specific expertise outside your locale, or experts that can provide a very specific service.

The keys to optimizing the size and quality of your network on LinkedIn are to gradually increase the number of people that you invite to your network daily, and to carefully select them. Your invitations should engage them with a clear and relevant message that reflects who you are. Once they respond to your invite, take the time to thank them for joining your network and establish a channel of communication. For creating business income, LinkedIn is a numbers’ game: you contact many people hoping that a small percentage become sales, and the higher the quality of your network, the better your odds will be.

Subscribing to LinkedIn Sales Navigator for $80/month is a sound investment. It helps to filter a precise list of people you want in your network. You can find the right level decision-maker, in the correct industry and specific location. This feature gives you unlimited searches so you can get to exactly the type of person who needs your services or products.  If you send too many invitations through their general suggestion list, LinkedIn may bar you from searching for days or perhaps weeks (thinking you are a bot).

Once you start finding the people who meet the criteria you need, commit to a manageable number of invitations that you can send, follow up on and track. Thirty invitations are a good initial goal. Inviting more people than you can actively engage will defeat the purpose. After a couple of weeks you may increase to 50 per day and after a month to 75 per day. You will know when you have reached the maximum number you can handle per day.

Your invitation message to prospective contacts will become more succinct once you have added a few. In a month you will get to the point where you can create a document with a few industry-specific messages that you can copy and paste. Likewise, you can prepare ahead of time a few messages to respond to their invitation acceptance, and others to invite them to like your webpage, read your blog or have phone, video or even face-to-face meetings.

It is important that you engage with your new contacts through LinkedIn messaging and that you respond to people who message you. It is quite typical that people accept your invitation and then fail to communicate. Focus upon the new contacts that message you. Ask them a relevant question that demonstrates you are an expert in your field. Do not try to sell or promote yourself until the second or third message. Not only is this communication required for forming a trusting relationship, but LinkedIn seems to notice the personal attention (not a bot) and allows you to send out a larger amount of invites. Often times the invitees will look at your current connections to assess if they also want to join your network.

As you use LinkedIn to filter, select and reach a larger number of prospective customers, the wealth of information that you connect to can now populate your CRM contact list. Although copying and pasting the information can be laborious, the process will allow you to email and phone your contacts directly. It’s wise to assign tags to the contacts so you can filter inside your own database later. A couple of sentences about the contact’s specialty and notes about the person will be great memory joggers. Perhaps this process can be delegated to administrative staff that you can trust to log into your personal LinkedIn account.

In addition, if a contact uses their personal email address in LinkedIn (as opposed to a business email address) research online to find their business email address. If you cannot find it, you must decide if you want to email someone’s personal email address with business topics. As a rule of thumb personal addresses should not be used for marketing.

The database that is now populated in your CRM can be connected to an email marketing system of your choice e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot etc. so your contacts can receive a monthly newsletter. At Nunn Better Consulting we try not to overwhelm our contacts with communication. The idea is to remain in mind, without becoming a nuisance.

Over time, the quality of your contact network will improve. Your idea of who can benefit from your product will be clearer and you will be finding them and communicating with them through your network. LinkedIn gathers the people and provides the tools, but you have to use that information to sell services and products.

SACC-SFL would like to thank Steve Nunn at Nunn Better Consulting for sharing this valuable information. Please contact us at or call us at +1 305 497 7754 if you would like to share your story.

Events this week

Exciting days lay ahead for SACC!

Wednesday: SACC-SFL is hosting two online workshops focusing on how to turn change into an opportunity for further growth. The 1:00 PM session is full but there are a few spots left for 5:00 PM workshop. Register here:…

Wednesday: SACC San Diego is hosting a webinar on the subject: How is Covid-19 accelerating Digital Healthcare? The chamber has invited Philip Siberg, President and co-fonder of Coala Life, and Åsa Nordgren, CEO and co-fonder of Trice Imaging. Register here:

Thursday: Webinar hosted by SACC-USA in collaboration with the Atlantic Council, with H.E. Karin Olofsdotter, Ambassador of Sweden to the U.S. as a keynote speaker. The United States is stronger in collaboration with allies and partners, but the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted global economic relations. Accordingly, Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter will join us to discuss both the Swedish approach to COVID-19 and its effect on business and trade between Sweden and the United States. The conversation will be moderated by Michael Andersson, Chairman, SACC-USA, and Atlantic Council board director. To receive the Zoom link, please register through this link:

Useful Information for your Business

SACC-SFL trust member Mulchan CPA shares the following highlights of the three COVID-19 relief packages recently signed into law by the US Administration: 


#1 COVID-19 relief package Coronavirus Preparedness and Responses Supplemental Appropriations Act [H.R. 6074]:

Focus: Emergency health funding

March 6 – $8.3 billion bill to fight the coronavirus outbreak, with funding for the CDC, production of vaccines and supplies, R&D and global health programs.


#2 COVID-19 relief package Families First Coronavirus Response Act [H.R.6201]:

Focus: Individual relief

March 18 – Legislation enacted to provide relief for workers at companies with less than 500 employees, and easing restrictions on nutrition programs.

  • Expanded the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and enacted Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) – goes into effect April 1, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020. Also see information below regarding employer requirements to inform employees. 
  • 10 days of paid leave at full pay if employee cannot work (including telework) due to:
  • Symptomatic employee seeking diagnosis
  • Caring for someone in these situations
  • Ordered isolation or quarantine
  • 12 weeks at 2/3 pay for child care due to closures 
  • Tax credits for employers who have paid sick and family leave and analogous credit for self employed individuals. 
    • Max tax credit $5,110 (EPSLA)
    • Max tax credit $10,000 (FMLA)
  • Provisions include easing restrictions on federal supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). 


#3 COVID-19 relief package Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) [H.R. 748]:

Focus: Economic relief and stimulus

March 27 – Provisions provide taxpayers with liquidity through cash payments, pushing back tax payment dates and reducing current and prior year tax liabilities. 

  • Cash payments of $1,200 single/$2,400 MFJ plus $500/qualifying child for qualifying individuals. 
  • $300 above-the-line charitable deduction – allowing individuals who do not qualify to itemize deductions to take a tax deduction for gifts to charitable organizations. 
  • Employee retention credit of 50% of up to $10,000 wages/employee paid from 3/13/20-12/31/20. The credit is provided through a refundable payroll tax credit for qualifying employers (the credit is available only to businesses that do NOT receive SBA loans).  
  • Deferred payroll taxes to end of year 2021 and 2022. 
  • Retroactive relief from several limits on tax deductions put in place with the tax reform in 2017, including allowing net operating loss (NOL) carry-backs for tax years 2018-2020.    
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
    • SBA Sec. 7(a) – loans up to $10M, for businesses with 500 or fewer employees, to pay for payroll costs, mortgage interest payments, rent and utilities.
    • The amount of the loan is limited to the lesser of $10M or the borrower’s average total monthly payroll costs (*with some limitations) for the 1-year period ending on the date the loan is made, multiplied by 2.5, plus any refinanced loan under the EIDL program. The loan cannot be obtained if taxpayer also receives the employee retention tax credit. 
    • No collateral is required and the government may forgive the amounts paid for qualifying expenses for up to 8 weeks. 
    • The loan proceeds may be used for payroll costs*, interest payments on mortgages, rent, utilities, and interest on debt incurred before 2/15/2020.
    • The borrower must have been in operation on 2/15/2020, and the application period ends 6/30/2020.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
  • SBA Sec. 7(b) – emergency loans of up to $2M.
  • $10,000 emergency grant (within three days of submitting an application), which is not required to be paid back. The grant would reduce any loan forgiveness under the PPP.
  • The act waives the personal guaranty requirement on loans under $200,000.


TBC – Additional relief is expected as there is now talks about #4 COVID-19 relief package…

Please visit the links below for more information:


Employers are also advised to consult with their HR department to make sure their employees are informed of their employee rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act). 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The picture is a notice poster from the US Department of Labor, which illustrates employees rights under the new law enacted to protect employees effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All employers must conspicuously post a notice regarding the requirements of the EPLSA in physical work locations. However, considering that many employees are now working remotely, the Department adds that an employer may satisfy the notice requirement by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.


SACC-SFL would like to thank Mulchan CPA for this valuable information!


Postponed – Second Annual Golf Tournament

Due to the current status of the Corona virus, and our primary focus being the health of our participants, SACC SFL has decided to postpone the Second Annual Golf Tournament without further notice. Under the current circumstances, we’re unable to meet the expectations we had originally set up for the tournament.

Thank you very much for your understanding and assistance in this matter.

Please contact us at or call us at +1 305 497 7754 if you have any questions.

Are you our new intern?

Founded in 2013, SACC-SFL has the reputation of being a fast-moving and energetic chamber. As an intern at SACC-SFL, you get the unique opportunity to be part of the cutting-edge setting that is South Florida today. You will be able to expand your professional network, gain new experience and advance your skills by meeting and collaborating with industry leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors. This is a chance to gain a competitive edge, in Sweden and internationally.

  • We introduce and promote Swedish innovations, entrepreneurs, start-ups and established companies in the South Florida area.
  • We link American and Swedish companies for mutually advantageous business opportunities.
  • We foster knowledge sharing and cultural exchange across borders.

Job Description

SACC-SFL is looking for two outgoing and ambitious interns who are passionate about marketing and operations management. Experience in WordPress, graphic design and communication is an advantage as well as previous international experience. Most importantly, you enjoy networking and meeting new people. The intern’s primary tasks will be to assist with general operations, marketing, and event management.


  • Promoting the Chamber and Chamber events through marketing activities
  • Update the Chamber databases
  • Help providing general office administration
  • Support our treasurer with Chamber financial management
  • Organizing Chamber events, including coordinating volunteers for these
  • Attending Chamber specific networking events
  • Assisting in recruiting new Chamber members
  • Assisting in membership program development
  • Preparing board meetings • Help providing general office administration
  • Ensuring that the Chamber website is up to date
  • Managing social media accounts
  • Write and update procedures (office manual, etc.)

Required Skills

  • Higher education within Business, Marketing, or Project management
  • Related work or extracurricular experience
  • Outgoing personality, salesmanship and initiative skills
  • Leadership and teamwork skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in Swedish and English
  • Swedish citizenship

Apply here:

Meet our New Trainees

At SACC-SFL, we are very happy to welcome our new trainees –
Lovisa Sennerman and Katrina Hedencrona!

Hello, my name is Lovisa Sennerman. I am 22 years old and come from Gothenburg, Sweden. I am currently studying international sales and marketing. I am interested in traveling and to meet new people. When I saw this internship at The Swedish- American Chamber of Commerce here in Fort Lauderdale, I took the opportunity to come here to learn more about the things I’ve learn in school, and about the American culture. I am looking forward to learn more about SACC Fort Lauderdale and the culture here.

My name is Katarina Hedencrona and I am from Gothenburg. I recently finished my bachelor’s degree in management. I’ve always had my mind set on moving abroad and I consider myself as an ’’all inclusive, non exclusive’’- person. Those are two of the reasons why I chose to apply to SACC-SFL. Now you know a little bit about me and I hope that if we meet, you can tell me a bit about yourself. Looking forward to that!


Founded in 2013, SACC-SFL has the reputation of being a fast-moving and energetic chamber. As an intern at SACC-SFL, you get the unique opportunity to be part of the cutting-edge setting that is South Florida today. You will be able to expand your professional network, gain new experience and advance your skills by meeting and collaborating with industry leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors. This is a chance to gain a competitive edge, in Sweden and internationally.

  • We introduce and promote Swedish innovations, entrepreneurs, start-ups and established companies in the South Florida area.
  • We link American and Swedish companies for mutually advantageous business opportunities.
  • We foster knowledge sharing and cultural exchange across borders.

Job Description

SACC-SFL is looki

ng for two outgoing and ambitious interns who are passionate about marketing and operations management. Experience in WordPress, graphic design and communication is an advantage as well as previous international experience. Most importantly, you enjoy networking and meeting new people. The intern’s primary tasks will be to assist with general operations, marketing, and event management.


  • General office administration
  • Manage social media accounts
  • Ensure that the Chamber website is up to date
  • Create content for the Chamber Newsletter
  • Organize and attend the Chamber’s events
  • Promote the Chamber through marketing activities
  • Assist in recruiting new Chamber members & interns

Required Skills

  • Higher education within Business, Marketing, or Project management
  • Related work or extracurricular experience
  • Outgoing personality and salesmanship skills
  • Leadership and teamwork skills
  • Excellent verbal and written skills in Swedish and English
  • Swedish or Finish citizenship

Apply here:

Application closes September 30th.

Bollnäs Stanley Cup-mästare lär ut hockey i Florida med bandyklubbor – Text av Sven Gustavsson

Daytona. Anders Eriksson vann Stanley Cup 1998. Han avslutade karriären i Modo, flyttade tillbaka till USA och nu lär han ut hockey till unga amerikaner i Florida. Han driver eget företag i byggbranschen och spelar även veteranhockey. Här berättar han när han blir en ”Mange Wernblom” Text av Sven Gustavsson.

Har man en svensk Stanley Cup-mästare från bandyfästet Bollnäs, som ledare för ett hockeyläger i Florida, är det klart att uppvärmningen sker med en rosa boll och bandyklubbor.

43-årige Anders Eriksson följer förnöjsamt när de amerikanska barnen för första gången bekantar sig med de konstiga krokiga klubborna.

Det tar inte lång tid för de mest talangfulla att förstå hur den ska hanteras, men när det kommer till skott är det fortfarande ett slags handledare som gäller.

Det är tropiskt hett ute och rejält kyligt inne i ishallen, som ligger i anslutning till ett köpcenter i Daytona strax söder om den världsberömda racingbanan.

Här drillar Anders Eriksson, Peter Nyman och Sören Strandberg ett knappt 30-tal amerikanska barn.

Peter från Mjölby spelade back med Calle Johansson i juniorlandslaget och division 1-hockey i Tranås innan han hade en kortare karriär i England. Nu bor han i Orlando.

Sören är före detta bandytränare, som flyttade till Mount Dora strax norr om Orlando och startade ett bed & breakfast.

Tillsammans hoppas de tre svenskarna att det här hockeylägret ska bli återkommande. Peter har en vision om utbyte med någon svensk hockeyskola.

– Jag hjälpte en del kompisars barn när jag flyttade hit. Men mina egna barn och det de höll på med tog all tid. Nu har de blivit så stora att jag har mer tid. Det är kul att jobba med barn. Visar man dem något och de ser att det fungerar, blir det som en snöboll. De växer, säger Anders engagerat.

Att skjuta med bandyklubba är inte helt lätt.

Uppväxt i den svenska idrottsrörelsen har han sin egen vision han vill föra över till barnen här:

– Barnen ska förstå att det är okej att göra annat också och att det är okej att göra fel. Funkar det inte på ett sätt, så pröva något annat. Det är den inställningen man fick med sig hemifrån Sverige.

Han var också med och ledde ett par läger i West Palm Beach efter Daytona under maj.

– Allt är så direkt för barn i dag med telefoner och datorer. Det är också viktigt att de rör sig. Vi har visat dem innebandy här. Det är ju jättebra. 60 dollar för klubba och boll. Det har alla råd med.

Anders Eriksson vill jobba ännu mer med utveckling, gärna i något NHL-lag.

– Men det är svårt. Jag jobbar en del med Florida Panthers för att få unga intresserade och även med deras stipendier.

Florida var ett av totalt 14 lag han spelade i under sin aktiva tid i Nordamerika och hans gamla lag har inte glömt honom.

– Jag var med när de hängde ”Lidas” tröja i taket och sista matchen i Joe Louis Arena, säger han om Nicklas Lidström och Detroit.

Han har också valts in i Chicagos veteranlag, även om debuten fortfarande väntar.

Hur är det med de egna barnen, ser du någon ny storväxt defensiv backklippa där?

– Sjuåringen har noll intresse av sport. Han gillar att dansa och uppträda. Yngsta dottern är tio. Hon är sportfanatiker och jätteduktig på basket. Hon vill också pröva på hockey. Äldsta dottern är mer intresserad av dans och höll på med konståkning som yngre.

Som före detta NHL-spelare, som valt att stanna i USA, ser han fördelarna med att ge sina barn olika uppväxtmiljöer.

– Vi tar hem dem till Sverige varje sommar och så har vi hus utanför Toronto. Det blir mycket utomhusaktiviteter och det gillar de. Jag försöker ge dem samma uppväxt jag hade hemma i Bollnäs, fast i Florida då.

Efter att 1991 ha utsetts till bästa back i Tv-pucken tog han dubbla JSM-guld (både J18 och J20) med Modo åren efter, samt var med och förlorade SM-finalen 1994.

1995–96 debuterade han i Detroit i NHL, där han också vann Stanley Cup 1998. Totalt spelade han 608 matcher för nio olika NHL-klubbar under 13 säsonger. 2011 avslutade han karriären i kvalserien, med Modo.

– Men jag var inte där när de åkte ur, understryker han.

Efter karriären flyttade han tillbaka till USA och Delray Beach i sydöstra Florida.

– Jag har varit här i Nordamerika i 23 år. Längre än i Sverige. Det var hela tiden tanken att komma tillbaka hit och mysa.

Anders Eriksson spelar själv veteranhockey – när han inte tränar ungdomar.Han spelar fortfarande hockey ett par gånger i veckan.

– Det är fortfarande skitkul. Spelar i Labatt Blue. Det är Beer League. Det är faktiskt en riktigt bra liga.

Beer League är veteranhockeyn i Nordamerika, som håller långt över 170.000 spelare aktiva i USA, varav 17.000 kvinnor. Det är också stort i Kanada.

Har de koll på vem du är och vad du gjort?

– Jadå, och jag kan åka och göra mål lite när jag vill. Men det gör jag inte. Jag är där för att ha kul, dricka en öl och mysa. Jag håller i pucken och försöker få alla andra att göra mål i stället. Det ger väldigt kul respons från de andra.

Försöker de testa dig?

– Jag har sagt att de kan haka mig och allt, men slå inte på armarna, för då blir jag ”Mange” Wernblom, säger Anders Eriksson och skrattar åt liknelsen med Modos tuffing Magnus Wernblom.

– En gång var det en som åkte och hackade. Nästa gång smackade jag till honom rejält och sa att ”gör inte om det där igen”. Det blev alldeles tyst i rinken. Vi får ju inte tacklas, men jag tog min tvåminutare för det.

– Efteråt kom han och sa ”vilken jäkla tackling”. Jag svarade bara att ”jag tog inte ens i”.

Hur mycket följer du NHL?

– Inte speciellt mycket. Men när det kommer till slutspel, då är jag med. Det har ju varit sjukt bra hockey i år.

– När vi hade en samling med vårt lag i Beer League sa vi ”undrar hur långsam man skulle se ut om man hoppade ut på isen?”. Man skulle bli snuvig och sjuk i tre veckor av draget. Gud va snabb dom är, säger Anders Eriksson och norrländskan bryter igenom ordentligt.

– Jag tror Vegas har riktigt bra chans att gå hela vägen. Jag hade ju Gerard Gallant i Columbus, så honom har jag känt länge.

Fakta.Anders Erikssons brokiga karriär

1991–95. Modo, 109 matcher i elitserien och SM-slutspel.

1995–99. Detroit, 172 matcher (samt 119 i AHL i Adironduck Red Wings).

1999–2000. Chicago, 97.

2000–01. Florida, 60.

2001–03. Toronto, 48 (97 AHL-matcher i St. John’s).

2003–04. Columbus, 66.

2004–05. HV71 (lockout), 32.

2005–06. Springfield Falcons, 12 AHL-matcher och 28 med Metallurg Magnitogorsk i KHL.

2006–07. Columbus, 79.

2007–08. Calgary, 61.

2008–09. Quad City Flames, 66 i AHL.

2009–10. Phoenix, 12 matcher, 10 med New York Rangers, 10 i AHL med San Antonia Rampage och 8 i Hartford Wolfpack.

2010–11. Timrå, 6 matcher i elitserien och 35 med Modo i elitserien och kvalserien.

Texten är även tillgänglig på 

3 Best Practices for Small Business Marketing

With a MBA in Marketing & Management from Columbia University and nine years in direct mail –  you can surely say that Janet Granger has a lot of experience when it comes to marketing strategy. Janet has been named one of the 20 Most Influential Content Marketers in New England and in 2016, she published the book: Digital Influence for Baby Boomers: Why you should care and yes, you can do this! Here are her 3 best practices for small business marketing:

Small businesses need marketing but often work with a shoestring budget. Knowing that every penny has to be spent wisely, here are the best ways to ensure that a marketing person, team, or outside agency delivers the greatest success and results.

1. Define what’s important to you.

This may sound simple but it’s rare that marketing people start with asking questions. Most often, they start with suggestions of what to do and how much to spend.

Which, if you think about it, makes no sense. There’s no package or one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Every marketing strategy should start with the business results. What do you want to achieve?  For example, if most of your sales come from a conference or event, is your goal a certain number of people at your booth/location? Or is it all about online sales? Or foot traffic into a store? Are you looking to build your brand? Let your marketing team know what is important to you and how you’ll be judging their results.

If you don’t set out the goals at beginning, you’re setting yourself up (and them) for failure. Not sure what you should expect? Ask them what they will be delivering for you. And if you don’t like what you hear, change it.

2. Marketing takes time; don’t expect perfection at the start.

The early part of any marketing campaign is where the marketing person (or team) watches what’s happening and, if they’re good, tweaks the campaign to maximize results.

There’s nothing worse than a business owner seeing the early results of a campaign and shutting it down prematurely. Yes, it’s great to be involved and to monitor. But don’t expect the final results at the very beginning. Marketing is part science and part art. Give a campaign four weeks before you start to evaluate it and two – three months before you decide to change it or pull the plug.  

On the other hand, if the early results show that absolutely nothing is working, it’s time to stop, step back, and assess. This is often a good moment to try something new while still focusing on the same goals (as established in Step 1). 

3. Be sure to have a thorough debrief at the end, to review the metrics from the campaign.

Ask your marketing person or agency to review (a) what they promised you at the very beginning (again, Step 1) and (b) all the data that shows they delivered on that promise. If they can’t do this, they haven’t done their job.

Knowing that you’ll want this at the end of any campaign, it’s good for your marketing person or team to think about what data and results you’ll need before the project even starts. That way, all the metrics are set up properly at the beginning to measure if the campaign was, or was not, successful. 

For more marketing tips and tricks, visit and sign up for my newsletter! 

What You Might Not Know About the Stars Above Us

On April 18th, SACC-SFL arranged a happy hour with the theme “Stargazing”. Astronomy Professor Niel Mulchan was invited to talk about what stars really are and to give us an introduction to astrology. Niel was kind enough to share a summary and some additional fun facts with us to enjoy. Read it below. 

The ink is still wet as the story of the Universe is being written in the search for answers, some of which we may never find. But these just may be the unsolved mysteries mankind needs to escape the burdens of life, even for just a minute to look to the heavens and wonder why. Looking up into the seemingly infinite Cosmos, we may find some solace knowing that we are all eternally chemically bonded not just to each other, but to everything that ever was, still is, and ever will be. We are all quite truly one with the Universe. But no species lasts forever. And the end will come for the run of the human race as the relentless work of evolution continues to adapt all life to an ever-changing planet. But until that time comes in the not-so-distant-future, take heed in exactly how special you are, for the very material that gives you life is born from the death of stars billions and billions of years ago in the far reaches of the Universe, trillions of trillions of kilometers away. Each of us is made of the scattered remains of the birth of the Universe and the death of stars, most of which turn into Black Holes.

A moonlit walk on the beach is more special than you may realize. Our closest celestial neighbor in all the Universe, is our very own Moon, “Theia,” named after the Greek goodness of Divinity. Just 384,000 km away from us, one quarter the size of the Earth and born out a cataclysmic collision of two planets 4 billion years ago, the Universe is slowly reclaiming our Moon. Enjoy the beauty of the full Moon before it’s too late, for each year the Moon drifts off into the darkness of space by a few centimeters, and eventually we will lose our Moon. What happens then? Well, nothing good. You’ll have to come find me for the answers you may not like!

Finally, maybe the most meaningful word we have ever learnt, is the word “perspective.” What you see simply depends on how you see it. Anyone can tell you where to look, but no one can tell you what to see. From here on our home, the Earth, it’s the only home we’ve ever known, and may ever know. It is home to everyone we hold dear to our lives, and all of the material possessions that we believe we cannot live without. And as we spend our relatively short time as a species on Earth thinking about how to keep all of our material possessions, and how to get more of it, give a passing thought to your perspective. You see, on one hand, the Earth is truly special. It is the only place in the entire known Universe where life has ever been found, and may ever be found. It is the only place where liquid water is known to exist. It is the only place where rainbows and sunsets have ever existed. But for all of this unique beauty, think about on the other hand. Being far into the depths of space and looking back at the Earth and everyone and everything on it. It is only then, with that perspective, that one would realize that in the grandest of schemes, how absolutely insignificant the Earth, and everything and everyone one on it, really is. For the speck of dust that the Earth would look like from the depths of space would render it completely meaningless, and it would have made no difference to the Universe had the Earth never existed in the first place. Whether you see the Earth in all its uniqueness, or as an irrelevant speck of dust in the vast Universe, simply depends on your perspective: are you inside the box looking out, or are you outside the box looking in.

The rise of fall of empires and civilizations around the world that all looked to the stars for guidance should teach us not to worry about trying to save the Planet, the Earth is a great survivor. It’s been here for billions of years long before we ever existed, and will be here for billions long after we’re gone. It’s saving mankind that we should be worried about.


Text by: Niel Mulchan, Professor at Broward University.