At last – the report you have all been waiting for about our grand TEDxStockholm event! As you know, I’ve already covered Hans Rosling (I’m not sure with what, but he’s covered) in a previous post. He gave a great lecture, and threw around brightly-coloured platsic IKEA boxes to show us that there is no such thing as developing and developed countries. The new emerging economies will soon catch up with the middle economies. (He later went on to illustrate this with this usual data bubbles.) One lonely green box remained on its own on the stage: the bottom billion (a new phrase that you will be hearing a lot. Remember that you heard it first here though). It is the bottom billion people, those living in desperate conditions, that we must all now try to help.
We had lots of interesting talks, coffee breaks and discussions. Professors wowed us and made us think, especially Prof. Johan Rockström with his dire prognosis on the status of the planet in regard to climate change. Luckily, this was balanced by two inventions that ought to help make the world a better place. I think the whole event was a crowd pleaser.
I was most impressed by David Bismark whose research is set to turn voting systems in say, Iran and Afghanistan – and even the USA, upside down via a very effective way of holding verifiable elections. (That means that anyone and everyone can see that the votes are counted correctly and that your vote really does stay anonymous).
And finally, an accolade to Edna Eriksson, who gave a wonderful talk about diversity: it’s not what you see on the surface that counts, but who we are deep down. Or, as she put it, “Don’t ask me where I come from. Ask me where I’m going. You’ll learn a lot more.”
But no day of inspiration would be complete without its wonderfully wacky goings-on. Like the art group Glimpse, all dressed up with Viking horns, recycled dresses and goldfish bowls as hats.
Yes … you could say that I fitted in perfectly!
As I still haven’t tired of telling you, tomorrow is our big TEDxStockholm event! And, apart from Hans Rosling (see my previous post), the agenda is packed with brilliant minds and innovators! Our theme is inspiration – and as I look through the programme, I think I can detect an underlying theme: how inspiration can help us make the world a better place.
There’s Isabella Lövin, who has written a book about the global problem of overfishing. What will happen when the seas are silent because there are no fish stocks left?
Then, there is Petra Wadström with her invention: SOLVATTEN – a system that makes unsafe water drinkable by using solar energy!
Just imagine a world where millions of people can get easy and cheap access to safe drinking water! It’s mind-boggling!
I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the Peepoo bag from one of the brains behind this invention, Anders Wilhelmson.
Over 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic toilets and sanitation: that’s 40 out of every 100 people! Naturally, this lack of toilets affects society because it contaminates both fresh water and ground water. The Peepoo bag acts like a toilet except that it is much cheaper than investing in the infrastructure needed for water toilets. Not only is this bag affordable, but it is bio-degradable AND it converts the contents into harmless fertilizers that can then be used on crops. Ingenious!
Last but not least: laughter also makes the world a better place, don’t you think?
Here’s the description I sent into TEDxStockholm about myself:
Lady Fi — curious, humorous, passionate about ideas and chocolate. Tongue-in-cheek intellect, love immigrant, loser of keys, earring enthusiast and reluctant cook. Word guru extraordinaire, creative writer and happily-failed domestic goddess.
(OK! So I didn’t really call myself Lady Fi. After all, I don’t want my id taking over my ego…)
So, while I’m away – how about a little entertainment? How would you describe yourself in a humorous way? Or if that is too hard, how would you describe me? (Remember – the theme is kindness here!)
Entertain me in the comments, please! I mean – do I have to do all the work around here?
Sweden’s first public TEDx event is taking place this Saturday. We’re called TEDxStockholm (I know – it’s catchy, right?) and are operating under a licence from TED – Ideas worth spreading.
We have a great line-up of speakers: from graphic designers and environmental journalists to the wizard of data bubble software himself, Hans Rosling. Actually in real life Hans Rosling is a Professor of Global Health here in Stockholm, but when he gets up on stage – then watch out! He transforms statistics to magic while also popping every pre-conceived notion you might have about them and us, the poor and the rich, the developed and the developing countries.
He uses statistics, history and facts to show us that the world cannot be divided into such simplistic categories. It is, in fact, a much more complex place. We might be stuck in our old ruts, our traditional mindsets – and he wants to drag us into the modern world and a new way of looking at it. (If you have 20 minutes, this is well worth watching. It’s a talk he gave to the US State this summer.) He is a myth-busting professor that presents his data with all the adrenaline-fuelled passion of a horse racing commentator!
Oh – and have I mentioned that this guru is one of the main attractions on Saturday?
I’ll be there watching and acting as one of the moderators for our discussion groups.
And somewhere along the way, I hope to gain a new mindset!
A couple of weeks ago, I went away to a TEDxStockholm event and saw where Santas come for their summer holidays. (For those of you who don’t know about TED, I urge you to check their website: www.ted.com.) Some of you are TED fans already and I promise to let you know more about Sweden’s first ever independently-organized TEDx event later on…
But – first! I have another promise to keep: and that is the one in which I allow you all to guffaw at my paltry dressing up attempts at the Creative Dinner that we (The Interesting Organization) held after all the lectures were finished. You see, once the TEDxStockholm day was over, we all proceeded downstairs to dress up before having dinner. I arrived a little late so the pickings were pretty slim.
I ended up looking something like this…
Photo courtesy of André Wognum
I had a net as a skirt and it was held up by some sort of tea strainer that snapped shut; the doggie collar is around my arm; and I made a fetching necklace out of an old CD and stuck some toy dinosaurs and soldiers on it… Of course, the most eye-catching feature of all is my dog hat! (The ears made it difficult to eat elegantly. But then, what dog has good table manners?)
Well, I did say the pickings were slim!
Er… Yes! I was caught trying to add a friend’s contact details into my new phone… Blush! But she was a new business contact! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
After a late night party, we all congregated at the 17th century manor house that is our company’s HQ for breakfast and some quiet time.
Look at the delightful sight that greeted us that morning: a field of hammocks to rest in!
I’ve just had a fantastic weekend! We held our first TEDxStockholm event with masses of inspiring speakers, interesting discussions, passion and champagne! (More about that later…)
I went out for a walk and discovered that wooden Santas and little gnomes thrive in a Santa museum! A huge Santa welcomes you into the museum, which is the building with the canoe on the roof!
Quite an unexpected sight in the middle of the lush Swedish countryside!
The whole event was brilliant and we rounded off the night by dressing up and eating dinner.
I felt as if I could float away on all the ideas that bubbled to the surface during the day…
… And, although I felt as if I could walk on water, I ended up using the bridges to get over the river at the back of the hotel where I was staying.
Well, I don’t have any pictures right now of me dressed up… If you ask nicely, I might post one later.
I’ll give you a clue: it isn’t easy to eat supper with long doggie ears!