A day out with TED

Photo 14-06-2013 22 35 12On Friday, I was given a spare ticket to a TEDx event. If you’ve never visited TED.com, it’s a website with over 1,500 videos of talks by all kinds of people, on all kinds of subjects, and all over the world. This particular event included a tour of the Houses of Parliament and an evening reception with the speakers from the day. I was only there purely by chance because someone else couldn’t go, but it worked out well for me 🙂

The theme of the day was democracy, and the power of the individual to make a difference in the world. With over five hours of talks crammed in over three sessions, it was pretty intense and I’m still filtering through everything, but here are a few highlights:

Jack Andraka, the American teenager who, when he was only 15, invented a simple paper test to detect pancreatic cancer in the early stages (and dramatically chances of survival).

– Alastair Macartney, an adventurer and world record holder who started Jump4Heroes, raising money for armed forces charities by jumping off high stuff like buildings and mountains (check out this video – although maybe not if you’re scared of heights…). I really liked his quote: ‘It’s not what you can do – it’s what you can do with what you can do.’

Baroness Scotland, former  Attorney General of England and Wales, who believes each of us has got a talent, and all we need to do is identify it and then use it to make the world a better place, even if it’s only in a small way. She made us promise to think of three ideas, and to do at least one (or if we’re women, ten).

I keep remembering more highlights, so expect a good few more posts in the not too distant future. I’ll also share links to some of my favourite talks as soon as they go up on the website.

All in all, it was a really inspiring day, and made everyone there feel we could change the world. Now to figure out how (wouldn’t want to break my promise to a baroness!). I don’t think I’ll be inventing any cancer tests any time soon, and I definitely won’t be jumping off any buildings, but I’m sure I’ll think of something – and when I do, you’ll be the first to know 😉


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