TEDxSalford 2013

As some of you know, I have big love of all things TED, TED talks and TED inspiration…who doesn’t though right? There are many TED talks that spring to mind that stay with me…that get passed onto others in discussion, in motivation…Ken Robinson being number one (at the moment). At the end of 2012, I was lucky enough to work alongside Richard Hsu, Founder of TEDx Shanghai and TEDx Ambassador in China in organising the first TEDxWomenShanghai event in December 2012. I was supposed to help remotely with marketing for the second event this year, however post surgery recovery kingdom got the way, as it has with so many things this year. It’s all about to change.

On Sunday, it was TEDxSalford, the largest TEDx event in the UK – the “ultimate brain spa…a conversation about a shared future” – at The Lowry in Manchester, UK. Here are thoughts from the day…photographs and films…soundbytes and comments. It’s not to be a comprehensive account but more of a taster of the key messages that came through…along with my conclusions at the end. It was perfect recovery kingdom fuel that’s for sure.

TEDxSalford 1

Dave Erasmus
‘Is giving one pound enough?’ Created an online platform called ‘Givey’ – @daveerasmus
The giving economic system has no infrastructure…why are we not OK with the idea that sharing is important…the understanding of the value of collective impact is important…Online platforms are not OK with the act of giving…The act of the relationship, that’s important not the transactional value…the relational story to the greater story…users will then give what they feel. Need to do something scalable that will have a systemic impact…share stories. What small action are you going to take today and tomorrow to be a solution to that problem? We to curate voices that don’t get lost in the ether and get taken to the tables of the powerful. The most important thing I did before coming to this talk was to say my peace. Actions drown out the reality and sound of our everyday…it’s what our actions are and how they shape our future.

Rachel Elnaugh
Higher Consciousness Business Creation, founder of Red Letter Days – @rachelelnaugh
Belief systems are programmed into society. The importance of mindset in achieving business results is underrated. The “fourth dimensional realm”…the highest energy is pure love – see it to believe it. Belief in the path of prosperity. Serendipitous coincidence informed her. Live life forwards and understand it backwards. The universe is sending divine guidance and gifts along the way and all we have to do is become aware of them…Steve Jobs channeled the infinite wisdom of the fourth dimension. Blood, sweat and tears. Battle every day. Fear of change, trying to control everything instead if letting go. “I’m sick of fighting – you decide.” It’s time to let go of Rachel’s plan…we’re being called upon to serve others purposefully, from fear to faith. Businesses can no longer be driven by money greed and power.

 Soul Pancake film by kid president – @soulpancake #kidpresident
“Don’t stop dreaming unless the dream is stupid…You can cry about it or dance about it.”

 George Smoot
The Big Bang Theory – @georgesmoot
You’re a simulation and physics can prove it. Logic is not enough as you will be a simulation denier. What role do you have in life – pawn or a hero? “Solipsism” – Ones own mind is sure to exist – a zombie philosophy, philosophical zombie, philosophy of mind and perception. The world has mental concepts and the physical world. What is intelligent design. Multiverse – a meta universe and others inside it. Real brain vs. virtual mind. Can we take a real brain and turn it into a virtual mind? Download our brains. Human beings are not good at figuring out they are real…optical illusions.

Mr Toilet who is breaking the taboo in global sanitation. 40% of world do not have access to a toilet. Social work has its impact.

Nitin Sawhney
Composer, musician, performer – @thenitinsawhney
Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein – chance has its play, god doesn’t play dice. An elegant universe where everything can be explained. A universal truth that can explain everything. Tagore – universal truth must be human. Subjectivity based on Eastern philosophy. Einstein – objectivity based on Western science. Music existed beyond human perception, it’s not created, and has mathematical simplicity. A musician is a medium through which the raga manifests. Tagore music fills the infinite between two souls. Music is a painting to be expressed. “Play stimulates chance”. Lots of coincidences in his life – Quantum weirdness. There is something greater out there…there is a lot if chance in the world, it feeds into the musical world.

 Quinton Fortune
Manchester United footballer – @quintonfortune
Perseverance – belief – faith – gratitude.

 The Scary Guy
Creating a powerful mind – @scaryguy
How to create world peace. “No longer can I live outside of myself, blaming other people for my actions. If I’m going to be committed to who I am then I have to be committed to all of my words and actions too. They dictate who I am…Each of us is responsible for creating our own world peace every day we are alive.” Whole human race is part if the transfer of negative energy. World peace is a process of creation from the moment you wake up until the moment you sleep. Choose what to accept into your body. Love. Acceptance. Create something brand new. Not the behaviour. See people first, behaviour second. Find a way to interact with them based on their behaviour. The 7 day, 7 night challenge – don’t say a negative thing about anyone. What are you doing with what you’re hearing. Can you hear them speak and not become the meaning of what they’re saying. For him it’s been 16 years. People get involved. Violence is an acceptable form of communication today. To shift what’s around you, shift you first. I can’t change people, I can’t fix them. The word racism is not a solution to racists it just raises awareness. Everyone has the ability, has the power. Infected or affected by the negative around them. Self acceptance and self-expression. Process it in terms of energy. Is it good for you? Learn how to process energy. Words are sound. It’s food. Use and know your self talk to process everything…words as real energy. Did I just hear that?? Stop and validate it. Where did that come from? Who is that about? Identify it their problem not yours. How did I get this way? Self harm. Not letting go. Ask the 3 questions otherwise you will live as a victim for the rest of your life. Connections to spirituality. Love. It’s not the stranger I love, it’s the person.


The Scary Guy

John Robb
Punk rock and the universe – @johnrobb77
The Big Bang is a musical note – between a B and B flat. Working in the space, the sound of the universe itself. The hum, the sound of the universe you’re clicking into, that drone is what makes music work.

Clayton Anderson
NASA Astronaut – @astro_clay
Take a fantasy, turn it into a reality by giving someone the opportunity to dream. Making things accessible to everyone through science, technology, engineering, art and maths. Everyone has the power to change a life. Stood for truth and justice in the American way. Take what you have, use your mind and imagination and turn our young people into supermen and superwomen.

Martin Hall
Vice Chancellor of University of Salford – @vcsalford
Power of stories and storytelling. Pathways and intersections in cities – where things come together. Destinations, immense energy, bringing people together, diverse identity. Shifts in language codes, where we forge our identities. Port-portal-legacy. Networks connect. Places of rapid change, fault lines, inequality and contradictions that don’t add up that creates creativity…art…inspiration from the mean streets that drives a city on. Cities are uncertain…create meaning all the time, where we have to be adaptive, invent things…above all else cities are global destinations…discovery.

Riot Jazz@riotjazz
After seeing them play here I think I’m in love with them. Seriously. Impromptu music dance festival after lunch that got people (not enough people though) up and out of their seats dancing…arms in the air…clapping to the bass beat jazz funk soul vibe. Nothing like it. The cohort of musicians remind me of I’m from Barcelona for some reason. Not the same music though. I hope to see them in Manchester later in the month.

TEDxSalford 2 Riot Jazz

Tariq Ramadan
Religion, spirituality and ethics.
Get the secret and reconcile the three dimensions. From Muslim to Buddhism. Discipline with the self, the basis of all spiritualities. We prohibit, we condemn and we punish, because of rules. The relationship with your own self, that you at able to accomplish the best. Not to punish but to educate. Not to limit but to show the way. A way to freedom. The way you look at yourself and your own education what have I don’t to make myself better to liberate myself from my own ego. Knowledge – no knowledge, no freedom because ignorance is the first jail. Know yourself, take time, be fair with your mind, heart and money. Putting meaning in our actions. Trust your qualities and face your weaknesses. What are you trying to get? Question the goals and you will know the way…it is hard to work and promote knowledge. Remain positive humble and ambitious.

Joanne Harris
Author of ‘Chocolat’ – @joannechocolat
Born into a house full of stories. Most stories aren’t true but there’s something about the structure that holds important truths…the words have double power. Words can be the worlds biggest Lego set. Books can take you to other places if only in the imagination. “You’d never amount to anything if you consider life to be a story”. The underestimated power of the imagination. C.S. Lewis – we read so as not to be alone. Behind every piece of fiction there’s a truth. Butterfly effect – The flutter of a butterfly wing on one side of the world can cause tornado winds on the other…even with the same with stories. We are all made of stories. .Keep those pages turning.

Graham Hughes
One man, every country, no flights – @theodysseyexp
201 countries without flying.

 Lemn Sissay
Artist and poet – @lemnsissay
Lemn in Ethiopia means why. We are a collection of memories which is why we are essentially time machines

Steve Mazan – @Steve_Mazan
Someday isn’t a day on the calendar…make someday happen. Those days were spent living, living the dream. Why do people stop chasing their dreams? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone was inspired. We’re all taught that life is tough, but it’s not, it’s pretty easy to skate by. Now we complain that life isn’t convenient. Living is hard. Constantly remind yourself that you’re dying, we are all dying, that you’re dying to do something. Life is easy. Love is a verb. Dream is a verb. It has to be done, made happen. I was dying to do Letterman. “I’m dying to…” – What are you dying to do? Don’t wait until someday to answer that question, when you figure it out you’ll sleep like a kid again, you’ll sleep to dream with the dream and wake up with it.

Lucy Siegle
Eco pundit Journalist – @lucysiegle
80 billion new garments and 11 billion shoes made every year. 2 million tonnes of textiles dumped in landfill. Phenomenon of fast fashion. If we make clothes that are disposable we will ultimately treat them like litter. Every week there is a new trend. 840 million garments are produced by Zara each year. Don’t buy an item unless you think you’re going to wear it more than 30 times. Fashion Revolution Day – 24 April 2014.

Hetain Patel
Artist and performer – @hetainpatel1
What makes my life better (Martin creed) – what is it that I’m afraid of? What is my biggest fear? That of not being understood, coming from my childhood. Creating and looking for different connections in my artworks for effective communication, seeking to understand before you are understood. The importance of fantasy and reality to make a dream. He makes reference to his new artwork that was recently shown as an anecdote on ‘Have I Got News for You’, a video documenting it’s creation is shown below. I have known and followed Hetain’s practice since 2010 as I curated him in a group exhibition. The transcultural investigations as part of his practice shares strands with my own research practice. One thing about his performance, well afterwards, was that his father got the largest round of applause of the day, right at the end of the day. Something quite special about that moment.

TEDxSalford 3 Hetain Patel

Hetain has presented previously at TED:

During the lunch break, there were breakout sessions run by a handful of the speakers. I attended The Scary Guy’s…notes of which have been added to his section above. I will be emailing him today with questions and thoughts with the intention of starting an on-going dialogue. There is still so much I’m processing from the day, as it is difficult to digest and absorb all the energy, thoughts, ideas, stories, experiences, knowledge and connections. All I know is that one day I’d like to present at TED…it’s on my life list. I’m known for making things happen, to mean the intention of the things I say.

There are eight things that I’d like you to take from reading this…for you to do or consider…

  1. Remember that dream is a verb. Dream big to make change happen (easier than you think), today, for you and those around you;
  2. For one week do The Scary Guy challenge of 7 days and 7 nights, where you don’t say one negative thing during that period, or engage with others in negative action…and see what change happens;
  3. Find out what you are dying to do…and then make sure you plan on doing it and doing it soon. “I’m dying to…”
  4. Believe in serendipity and the romanticism of coincidences  (as I do every day) – “Quantum weirdness”;
  5. LOVE. Underrated, thought not always felt, the most important four letters in the alphabet;
  6. Inspire and create peace in the next generation, for they have the ability to change the world more than anyone else and finally;
  7. Be aware of the soundtrack to your life…whether it be the white-noise hum of the city or the crazy town funk jazz energy of Riot Jazz (mine is largely things like the latter as you know with my Ears like to hear series), let it guide and inform your existence and add ingredients to your story and finally,
  8. Creativity (and words) cultivates more than any other tool in life’s toolbox.


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