Last week I got to participate in the first TEDxExeter event. TEDx events are a global phenomenon with literally thousands of events happening each year and folk like me use TED talks as a staple in leadership development and to inspire thinkers. So clearly I’m a TED fan, and as soon as I learned there was going to be a TEDx event in Exeter (thanks @tobite) I was in the line for tickets.
It was truly a spiritual experience. I’d expected first class ‘brain fodder’ but hadn’t anticipated the spiritual dimension to the day. In retrospect I’d not opened my mind widely enough beforehand but it was literally seconds after Satish Kumar took the stage that I realised how deeply the day would connect with my soul. His unholy trinity for the 21st century – soil, soul and society – was inspired and of our times.
I was moved to tears by Bandi Mbubi‘s story – his plea for a fairtrade phone is truly an idea worth spreading! Anyone who has ever spent time in the DRC (I was there in 1994) will know that essential minerals often come at a terrible price, and we have blood on our hands. Let’s campaign for what is right.
Polly Higgins gave a passionate plea for ecocide to be recognised as a crime. Articulate, intelligent, compelling. Surely the time is now?
Andy Robertson, Wired’s resident ‘geek dad’ busted a prejudice (or two) for me around online gaming and its potential for ‘good’. And it was a real privilege to connect briefly afterwards… there’s more conversation to come, I hope.
And finally @TEDChris – Chris Anderson – the curator of TED, talked about hope and ‘catching people doing something right’. Awesome! TED’s ‘appreciative approach’ is close to my heart as an optimist and a believer, and it was fitting to end the day on such a high note.
Of course, the other speakers were excellent, and I still smile as I remember Lily Lapenna’s brilliant work, Chris Hopkin’s vision, Mike Dickson’s ‘What is enough?’, and Hugh FW’s stories. And the Kagemusha Taiko drummers were ‘literally breathtaking’.
Huge thanks to Jeanie Honey and Claire Kennedy for pulling together a fantastic day! And of course to the team of unsung heroes who made it happen. Here’s to TEDxExeter 2013, and in the meantime, let’s not rest in our efforts to create a more sustainable world.