An inspirational day

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!

18 responses

  1. hahaha, is that you with the goldfish bowl on your head?
    Funny costumes. I love what Edna Eriksson said. Such deep truth behind that!


    September 24, 2009 at 15:40

  2. What a fabulous event. There is a lot of talk about improving the world that is spoken in generalities, but these are some concrete approaches. It’s exciting to read about.


    September 24, 2009 at 15:51

  3. What an excellent event:food for thought!


    September 24, 2009 at 16:33

  4. Sounds like a great event. How could a TED event not be? Glad everyone was pumped up and ready to change the world with brain power and compassion. Neat!


    September 24, 2009 at 16:34

  5. It looks like so much fun!


    September 24, 2009 at 16:59

  6. Marvelous – I love conferences, especially ones that are good.


    September 24, 2009 at 18:41

  7. I, too, like Edna Eriksson’s very insightful words. Looks like you had a very interesting day all round.


    September 24, 2009 at 21:25

  8. Sounds like a brillant conference! Plenty to think about there!


    September 24, 2009 at 23:20

  9. Seems like a great event. But then it was expected to be. I love the term bottom billion – in all our big talk, it is the poor who get left behind. Give them a voice, and they may not remain poor much longer. At least, I hope so.


    September 25, 2009 at 05:28

  10. This is a lovely post !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan


    September 25, 2009 at 06:19

  11. I enjoyed listening to the lecture on the developing and developed world and future predictions. I also love hearing a Scandinavian accent and the sense of humor is also different.
    Thanks for the update.


    September 25, 2009 at 06:23

  12. Ah yes the drinking water..marvelous idea, and the peepoo bags..ingenious. I love porta pottys!
    The bottom billion..seems like a lot of people..I will remember I heard it here first!
    I am sure you fit in well, that last photo looks like a fun bunch of people..not stuffy at all! 🙂


    September 25, 2009 at 07:04

  13. Sounds fabulous!! I think I would have fitted in nicely too 🙂

    C x


    September 25, 2009 at 09:38

  14. I thought you were going to say that was you in the blue dress. What a stimulating time you must have had – go the Swedes!


    September 25, 2009 at 10:25

  15. wish I was closer as this sounds like a great thing to participate in….however, I guess I would have to learn a bit of Swedish first! :o) Congrats on a successful weekend!


    September 25, 2009 at 19:52

  16. interesting, we have TEDxKL here but i have not attended any of the events. yup, love the last fun photo 🙂 i would love to wear a fluffy cloud hat with rain.


    September 26, 2009 at 09:08

  17. Sounds like a fun time. That goldfish bowl headdress is awesome!

    The bottom billion, mmm, what a concept.


    September 26, 2009 at 22:04

  18. ‘The bottom billion’ – sure gets the emotions going LafyFi.
    I can see that many self centred folk will think ‘I’m all right Jack – I have a weekly pay packet’. It’s everyone else who will be in the bottom bunch.

    You may have seen my post about Austrralia’s bright red sky and the dust storm this week. After that experience I believe the future is so unpredictable we can’t be sure of anything. Except that we must stay calm, plan and act individually and globally, and be ready to help each other.

    Loved your report of the conference – a consolation prize for us – thanks.


    September 27, 2009 at 03:19

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