Taking time out of U2's four-show stop in Boston this week, Bono addressed the graduating class of 2001 at Harvard University.
'My name is Bono and I am a rock star' he told an audience of about 5,000, including former Vice President Al Gore. Speaking for nearly thirty minutes on 'the struggles and oppression of 'the third of the world that lives on less than a dollar a day.' Bono asked his listeners, 'Is America still a great idea as well as a great country?'
'In America,' he continued. 'Nothing is impossible. Is that true ? You of all people can make it true.'
The invitation to speak at Harvard came from economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of Harvard's Center for International Development, who has worked with the U2 singer in recent years in the campaign to cancel the unpayable debts of the worlds poorest countries.
The Jubilee 2000 Campaign, now Drop The Debt, has seen Bono and Sachs lobbying world leaders to forgive debts of Sub-Saharan Africa which is labouring to combat an AIDS epidemic which will leave 40million children orphaned in the next decade. Describing his travels with Sachs as 'some sort of surreal crossover act... like The Partridge family on psychotropic drugs' Bono conceded that 'it was a new level of unhip for me. But it was very cool.'
His young, influential audience at Harvard, he evidently saw as people who can help take the campaign forward.
'It's hard to make this a popular cause,' Bono admitted. 'I've come here to ask your help.'
Find out more about the campaign to cancel the debts of the poorest countries at www.dropthedebt.org