Sport is one of the universal languages which connect people and cultures... Sport is primal, basic, essential and everywhere... Sport and great sporting events are a massive draw. But the best of all is when sport is shared alongside culture. And here Glasgow excelled.
There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to UK culture and our national image. And that's important as it attracts people from around the world to visit, study here and do business with us. The world may (wrongly this week) think that our weather's terrible - but the sun never sets on UK culture, and it shines all around the world.
We live in a hugely connected world but our points of reference can still be quite limited to the English-speaking world. Through programmes like YCE, the British Council can identify what's going on outside the confines of the usual places we look to. We connect our global entrepreneurs with the UK and with each other, and sow the seeds for international knowledge sharing and collaborations.
There's the one thing that underpins all of this - as Hamlet said, 'the play's the thing'. The reason Shakespeare's words are our words, and his works are our children's school work, is the substance. Content is king.
The future has a lot in store for cities. Before the end of the century planners and architects will have seen some weird briefs land on their desks as we make settlements on the moon, in digital space and roaming settlements that graze the landscape for resources.
Beyond established hotspots such as the US and UK, there's a whole movement of other digital and creative hubs, from Nairobi to Recife and Jakarta to Cairo. Less obvious pools of ideas and talent: growing markets of youth consumers and the originators of new creative ideas, social innovation and cultural leadership.
The research also found a widespread lack of understanding about the impact of the war - while 62% of people in the UK were
Just like the courtesy of learning a few words of the language, for someone from the UK travelling to countries with different memories of WWI than ours, learning a little more about the scale and legacy of this truly global conflict can be invaluable in effectively navigating and building relationships of trust.
It's a toughie. Famously tongue-tied in foreign languages, and notwithstanding the 200+ languages widely spoken in London and Manchester alone, the fact is the UK needs more people speaking more languages.
We will continue our cultural relations work well beyond the planned withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan next year; because we firmly believe that, along with the promotion of governance, security and development, the promotion of culture is a critical fourth foundation of Afghanistan's future.