Originally posted on TED Blog:

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond is interested in the role of small countries in the world. And, “As the leader of a small country that’s had a big impact on the world, it’s something of a specialist subject of mine.” Indeed! Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland.

He points to a remarkable moment at the height of the recent protests in Trafalgar Square, London. One of the chants was “Long live Al-Jazeera.” They were talking about the importance of reporting, but the chant also served as as an example of how a small country can have enormous impact. Al-Jazeera was founded in 1996 in Qatar, a country of just 2 million people. As an institution, it has survived to now become respected by more people on the planet than the BBC.

Small countries, says Salmond, can have an enormous impact: “Not because they’re big, but because they have big ambitions and bold ideas.”

The…

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