What a Commencement Speech Tells Us About Hybrid Events

This blog post is by Lauren Mulherrin of bXb Online (@bXbOnline), an INXPO partner. In March, Lauren wrote a great post about why millenials expect hybrid events.

A few months later, she joined other millenial classmates at her commencement ceremony at Boston University. The commencement address was given by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google – and of course, it was streamed live online. Schmidt’s speech reinforced many of the points Lauren has been writing about.

Graduation Day

On May 20th, 2012 I was at Nickerson Field in Boston, MA attending the 139th Boston University Commencement ceremony.

Eric E. Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google was announced as our commencement speaker prior to the ceremony. It’s a bit amusing googling the man behind Google. With his incredible background we were expecting, and received, a powerful message.

Graduation speeches are written to inspire, motivate and encourage the departing senior class. Upon hearing that I was going to walk, friends asked if I would gain anything from the speech having already entered the real world.  I asked myself the same question and in complete honesty didn’t know if I would. This is why I was so pleasantly surprised when Schmidt’s speech gave me something even better than inspiration, motivation and encouragement – he confirmed my career choice and more broadly, our work at bXb Online.

Schmidt confirmed my career by expounding on my generation’s connectivity. He even indirectly backed my various blog posts on the millennial generation’s demand for hybrid events and dual-mentorship. It is with greater pleasure that I note the entire ceremony was streamed live online and that my fellow classmates weren’t surprised. The live online streaming was simply expected.

I hope in sharing these quotes from Schmidt’s speech that you too can gain more confirmation that hybrid and online events are going to be expected by the entering work force.


“This generation – your generation – is the first fully connected generation the world has ever known.”

“You’re connecting to each other in ways those who came before you could never dream of.”

“You are emblems of the sense of possibility that will define this new age.”

“You’re, quite simply, teaching us.”

“People bemoan a generation who grew up living life in front of screens, always connected to something or someone. Those people are wrong. The fact that we are all connected now is a blessing, not a curse, and we can solve many problems in the world as a result.”

“To connect the world is to free the world, I say.”

“Innovation is disruptive; one thing I’ll tell you: you know you are innovating when people are worried about you! Graduates, please make people worry – not your parents.”

“Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of a new economy, and a more prosperous society…”

“For those who say you’re thinking too big… be smart enough to not listen. For those who say the odds are too small… be dumb enough to give it a shot. And for those who ask, ‘How can you do that?’ look them in the eyes and say, ‘I will figure it out.’”

And last but not least, my personal favorite:

“Life is not about your friend count – it’s about the friends you can count on.”

 Lauren Mulherrin

Watch the On Demand version of the commencement address Here.

Read the entire commencement address Here.

This post has been re-published with the permission of bXb Online. Visit their site for the original post.