In Yeonmi Park's book "In Order to Live," she thanked me for believing in her from the very beginning.
I think this meeting on June 4, 2014, is an example.
Yeonmi and I met with the organizers of a TEDx event in Seoul. I had reached out to every TEDx organizer--only two responded. One said they couldn't fit the North Korean topic into their event. The other one responded that they were very interested, but not sure. They didn't want anything political.
So I told them what I was telling everyone during 2014: Just meet her.
Finally, they agreed. It was election day, so it was a holiday. After 10 minutes of them talking, one of the ladies said, "Wow! This is definitely a TED Talk!!!" They had gone from doubting she would be a speaker to thanking me for being persistent about meeting with them.
It wasn't going to be the big TED stage, but it would be a chance for Yeonmi to give a TEDx speech, in preparation for giving a TED talk later (which she did).
At that time, we were working at the now-defunct Freedom Factory. I wonder sometimes what we could have accomplished with a real budget. The week before, her op-ed had been published in the Washington, there were so many requests from people to meet her.
We held that meeting at a cafe in Seoul.