TEDxAkl 2010 Thoughts

Back on Sept 26th along with 450 others we made it across the bridge to TEDxAuckland 2010.  I was able to take my daughter (9 going on 19) and one of my work colleagues.  As DialogCRM I was the CRM Partner for the event and helped out on a few other areas and was delighted to be able to do that.

Jason at TEDxAKL 2010 - photo by Michael ChinSpecial thanks to Richard Hollingnum and all the other speakers and helpers too. Here are my notes from the day.

First up Cindy Gallop was skyped in from South Africa. The technology quality of the call was very challenging and it wasn’t until near the end of her talk that she got any real cut thru. “Make sh*t happen. ” was a call to arms. I think Cindy also invited us to all visit her in NYC.

A key point here was to break actions into micro-actions – write them down on cards at the back and get started converting intentions into actions.

Renee Liang made an instant connection with us as she weaved her story of being NZ born Chinese (Piokiwi) on Chinglish blogger & poet. Renee is also part of Funky Oriental Beats (FOB). For me this was FAB thunderbirds are Go time. Renee has excellent timing and her droll sense of humour (very kiwi) warmed up the house nicely.

Richard Loseby was up next. What is it with advertising and adventures in Afghanistan ? One of my favourite reads in 2003 was Shantaram by Greg Roberts*. I have read Richards book but on this telling I’m afraid I got a bit distacted by a story about a goat and walking a lot (700km) and this note by @elysey

One Beep have some radio technology which enables the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) users to power up their computers. This is a project with a big vision and it won global recognition in the Image Cup. I think the team missed a great opportunity to lose their suit jackets & come up with a more spontaneous presentation when (ironically) their tech demo didn’t work. I’m sure we will hear more from these guys.

Divya Dhar has an impressive background and her talk covered some big ideas on P3. I loved that my daughter got to watch some other young women going places. At times though; (and this applies to some of the other young speakers.) I did wonder if a a couple of G&T’s and a few more personal anecdotes may have been a good idea.

Getting that balance between head and heart is a fine thing and we saw it a few times during the day.

Ms 9 (my daughter) thought Divya’s talk was a bit “alice in wonderland” ish. Not sure what she meant but again – great to see young people rising up into leadership roles. I know how much effort it takes to prepare a presentation and totally appreciate that but creating a connection with an audience is harder than it looks.

The benchmark TED related talk for young speakers has to be Eva Vertes who at 19 shared her journey towards a more radical theory on cancer and use of stem cells is at times a bit of a stretch. However she does manage to weave in a back story and sense of purpose that brings the audience along for the ride.

TEDxAuckland will be remembered for the number of young people presenting and pushing the envelope. There is a huge challenge there to all of us and it reassuring to see and hear from some young people who are committed to change. Over on TED there is a series of TED under 30 talks.

Stephen Knightleys talk on gaming connected with me as I have projects in the same territory. Augmented reality and gaming approaches to a range of topics have been successful. About this time I began wondering if Richard Loseby and Greg Roberts were both game characters how they would compare.

Jonathan of the learning Connexxion had some great stories of how everyone could learn to draw and even a few jokes sprinkled in there. He was someone who had seen a few bad days but had pushed through and art learning conection is in the transformational business.

Star Jam’s Julie Bartlet was the high point for me and I suspect many others. Her project helps disabled kids chase their dreams and there is always a risk with this type of content that it becomes an exercise in manipulation. Julies personal connection to the project was evident and when her brother came on stage I suspect a few people reached for their hankies. Later on a group of young performers from Starjam performed a few songs. Not my kind of music but no doubting the heart in both presentations.

There were so many great presentations and the audience was great too.

My personal favourites were @plumjungle @tokyolovein who did a messy delightful break all the presentation rules kind of effortlessly entertaining set.

Here is the plumjungle video of the day below. Thanks Michael for the lovely photos – even got one of me.

Here is Michael taking photos Plum Jungle story over here on Fundbreak and their fundbreak application over here. We need more crowdfunding projects here. Also like Kickstarter but here is a post on them and 8 others crowdsourced funding platforms.

* Special bonus for reading this far. Shantaram interview from ABC in 2007 Greg Roberts.

Love the bit about NZ Passport best one for a man on the run and the idea that the only thing he is now qualified for is advertising.