As I write, Malaysia's prime minister has just announced that missing flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. This is a time of deep sorrow and grief; in my heart I hear again the cries of Li Le’s mother, whom millions of us heard around the world last week. “My son,” she wailed, “I just want my son back.” Her anguish was palpable, tangible—primal. As a mother, I wept with her and today, I do again. I know I am not alone. Today, in this moment, people all over the world are hurting. We feel the families’ sorrow, pain, and loss. The hope that was held only moments ago has flickered out. But even amid this sorrow and pain, all is not lost. The search and rescue attempt may be coming to an end, but it has been an incredible mirror of some of humanity’s greatest qualities. Something remarkable changed in the global mindset—something with staggering implications for the future—something that can help us find hope in our hour of sorrow. To find it we need but look to our digital landscape.
A few days after the flight’s disappearance, I shared a link to Digital Globe, inviting you to become part of a collaborative effort to find the missing plane. That search went on to become the largest of its kind in aviation history. One of the most remarkable outcomes of the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is that over 3 million individuals joined the search and rescue efforts via Digital Globe.