Personal view from a TEDxBristol event attendee.
Last Wednesday (11th November 2015) my husband and I snuck off to TEDxBristol at the Colston Hall. We left our two small children with Grandma and took time out from our busy family life and careers expecting to be entertained, inspired and hoping for some of those ‘light bulb’ moments that TED is synonymous with.
The Colston Hall was buzzing with people and there was barely an empty seat in the house. The atmosphere was dense with anticipation, and as is typical of Bristol, also felt reassuringly informal and friendly. So, branded coffee cups in hands and lanyards around our necks, we set off to find a comfy(ish) seat in the auditorium.
If you’re not sure what TED is, it is a non-profit organisation (originating the USA) which invites people to give short powerful talks (18 minutes or less), with the aim of spreading ideas on any topic. The TEDx events are localised versions of these talks, organised independently by local volunteers.
As I was reflecting on the day I realised that there were ideas that the speakers had shared, that had struck me and stuck with me. So here are some of the incredible ideas that I took away from the event last week, that one day, might just change my life and yours…
- “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realised I was that somebody” “Take your passion and make it happen” Jessica Ratty, Crowd Sourcing: Passion For Progress
- “I share therefore I am” “The web is warming up… emotional intelligence is on its way… find your ego and tell the world how you feel. Get emojinal” Perspective on why we should share on social media and use emoticons to do so. Meabh Quoirin, Feeling Emojinal? The New Social Network
- “Bad news, war never ends… Good news, you will never be forgotten.” Extract from a letter which was a featured as part of Letter To An Unknown Soldier, a digital war memorial. Professor Kate Pullinger, A Very Modern Memorial.
- “Tame your Meerkat” A Meerkat represents the part of your brain that is receptive to fear and anxiety. If it is out of control life can be very challenging, even when it comes to day to day tasks. We need to recognise it and find ways to tame it. Do not get it drunk! Jane Evans, Taming And Tending Your Meerkat Brain
- “Shake and fold!” Funny talk with a serious message about how to dry your hands using a paper towel in order to reduce the incredible amount of paper towel waste. Wash, then shake your hands 12 times. Use ONE sheet and fold it before you use it to make it more absorbent. Joe Smith, How To Use A Paper Towel (TED Video)
- Did you know that cats purr because it helps to heal their bones?! Now scientists are exploring the cat purr frequency and possible sound therapy applications that might help humans recover from degenerative bone conditions. Patrick Aryee, How The Chicken Cured Cancer
- Shark skin is the perfect anti bacterial surface. Bacteria is unable to grow on it so scientists are exploring how to replicate its properties in order to use it for hospital surfaces. Patrick Aryee, How The Chicken Cured Cancer
- Telling a story should be in 3 Acts: Act 1: Problem Act 2: Struggle Act 3: Resolve and be like a roller coaster with ups and downs. David Sloly, Change Your Story, Change Your World
- “A mum can do dad things and a dad can do mum things” Lynne Elvins, My Two Mums (Aka The Myths Of Gay Adoption)
- “The NHS spends £1,000,000 an hour on Diabetes care on the NHS… around £8 billion per year” Dr Dawn Harpers, ‘The Fat Of The Matter’
- “Kill your ambition don’t let it kill you” Tom says our ambition to do more, harder and faster is killing us and simplicity could be our route to happiness. He suggests that, “We need to create a spam filter for the inbox of our lives” and questions “Is relentless ambition really the crowning achievement of our collective cultures?” Tom Savage, Is Ambition Killing Us?
- We don’t need to worry about Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. I haven’t read his books but if (like me) you are a fan of the TV series Humans or have watched I,Robot with Will Smith you will have an idea of what this is – what he is saying is basically this stuff is safe in the realms of science fiction. For now! Dr Paul, Bremner Via A Robot Avatar, Being There Even When Your Can’t Be There
- Top 5 regrets nurses hear from people who are dying:
- I wish I’d lived my own life not what others expected of me
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
- I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
- I wish I’d let myself be happy Tom Savage, Is Ambition Killing Us?
There were many more inspiring ideas and amazing stories that I am sure will be available to watch on tedxbristol.com. Thanks to the lovely ladies at Ambitious PR for my ticket and i’ll certainly be watching out for TEDxBristol 2016.