GEOPOLITICAL

Obeying Authority

Towering historic figures such as Gorbachev and Mandela and Churchill rebrand their nations, their societies and the world. But there are many instances where men and women far down the chain of command have the opportunity to not only rebrand the world, but to save it. In 2014 I awarded such a man the Unsung Hero Award.

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Bill and Berlin Wall and The Cold War

In January 1989 (Bill’s first month as chief executive of MTV Europe) Bill bought a transponder on Astra 1A which was a KU satellite enabling receipt of TV signals with a 60 cm dish instead of a 1.5 metre. This was a dramatic evolution in television distribution technology. Suddenly all homes could receive television channels direct to their home. Receivers – – or ‘dishes’ popped up everywhere in Europe, especially behind the Iron Curtain, in countries where there was limited TV choice available.

 At the same time, MTV decided to keep the signal unencrypted, thereby enabling viewers to see MTV without a decoder box. Additionally, Bill distributed MTV on every cable system that he could find in East Europe, thus building a substantial audience of cable and satellite home, which was unique behind the Iron Curtain.

 In parallel to this opening up, television channels in countries previously shut out, there was a steady fall of communist country leadership behind the Iron Curtain.

 This culminated in East Berlin during the first week on November 9th, 1989. Bill was there to give an East meets West speech. As part of his participation, he received permission to connect MTV to the conference centre and hotels in East Berlin. After weeks of coordination, Bill and his team finally connected MTV to East Berlin.

 No one showed up and the journalist said it was because MTV just began transmission.

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Bill and Council on Foreign Relations

CFR’s membership represents a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs.

About Council on Foreign Relations  

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. Each of these functions makes CFR an indispensable resource in a complex world.

Bill and Seeds Of Peace

william h roedy seeds of peaceBill’s son Liam became a ‘Seed’ in the summer of 2013. On Sunday 6th April 2014 the Roedy’s began a 5-day ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, at 19,341 feet to raise money for Seeds of Peace & The Staying Alive Foundation.

Bill and Alex joined a fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank in 2014, meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to further the search for peace. 

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