Something I’d wanted to do for a very long time, was to attend a TED Talk.
After a little on-line research I established that TEDx London was putting on its main annual event 1 July 2018 at The Royal Festival Hall. I did a quick scan of the speakers and immediately decided I would be going with my wife Soli. I booked two tickets without hesitation.
What is a TED Talk?
For those of you unfamiliar with TED Talks, TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged. Today TED Talks covers almost all topics, from science to business to global issues, in more than 100 languages.
Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world, and supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.
The Thames Was Buzzing…
So on Sunday 1st July, Soli and I set off by train to the South Bank, which just so happens to be one of my favourite places in London. It was a glorious day. The sun shone, and the banks of the Thames were buzzing with throngs of people all having a wonderful day out.
As we entered the Royal Festival Hall, we were warmly welcomed by some of the 140 strong young volunteers, who helped create the wonderful event we were about to experience.
20 Truly Inspirational Talks…
We settled down in the auditorium, among some 2,500 other attendees, from all walks of life. All cultures. Mostly young and full of life. We were treated to 20 truly inspirational talks, from diversity and inclusion, youth justice, global health equality, Justice for Grenfell, issues of sexual assault and the impending mission to Mercury launching later this year.
Will Young, best known as the first winner of Pop Idol was there with his close friend and film maker Christopher Sweeney. Following the success of their podcast Homo Sapiens,he spoke honestly about his struggles with suicidal thoughts and the need to share emotions with friends.
So many wonderful speakers, so much passion, it was all very emotional. We were also given the chance to meet the speakers in the intervals, which was a fabulous opportunity not to be missed.
Meeting Jamala Osman…
The one person I wanted to touch base with was an incredible young lady called Jamala Osman. Following a difficult childhood (frankly one I cant even imagine), marred by gang culture and violence, social entrepreneur Jamala fought to become one of the youngest bank managers in the UK, and now works with businesses to help young people rebuild their lives.
She blew me away, with her honesty, self-awareness, and desire to make a real change in the world. I asked her to guest on my podcast Your London Legacy and without a second thought she agreed. I can’t wait to spend some real time with her in a few weeks.
Live Beyond Borders…
Every single speaker was a joy to listen to. Each speaker inspired. And all speakers had a unique story to tell. Some are at the start of their journey, while others have made discoveries after years of work.
The TEDx London manifesto is to ‘’live in a society beyond borders, labels and outdated divisions…a society that thinks, listens, creates and speaks beyond borders’’.
That’s one manifesto I can sign up to, and I cant wait till the next TEDx London event comes around.