Monday, 22 September 2014

Ideas Worth Spreading - TEDxSalford

In the office we’ve booked our tickets for TEDxSalford, and I am all the more excited this year having had a taster of the event last year. I was only able to attend a few hours of the last event, but it made me understand why the TED organisation as a whole, and all of its break-out events, attract so many guests, and such a high calibre of diverse speakers.

TED is a global foundation committed to sharing ‘Ideas worth Spreading’, and this is done through conferences and online content. 

Ideas are a currency, and it is through ideas that great things happen and great inventions are made. At a grassroots level, ideas fuel the actions we take day by day. 

Ideas are, in the world of market research, the basis of our toolkit. We test their strengths, their weaknesses, their appeal and their potential. 

And often we’re surprised. A favoured idea of a client may be eschewed by potential customers, and the wild card may come out on top. 

The spreading and sharing of ideas is what helps thoughts and concepts to shape and grow. 

The unique experience of a TED conference is in the variety and the unexpectedness of certain topics. Last year, amongst other things, I heard about training voices in the head, rather than treating them as an illness; the roots of Indian music; the power and potential of a £1 coin; and the power of the mind explored through optical illusions. 

And when you deal in the collection of, and interpretation of stories, being open to a range of experiences and situations should come with the territory. Arguably it’s a lack of open-mindedness that may lead some to ignore a TED event. As if not knowing the history of every speaker makes their words somehow less worth listening to. 

So we’re looking forward to the words of Belle du Jour and Caprice. We’re ready to dive into the minds of a hacker, a mathematician, and a complex systems theorist. We’re ready to be fascinated by the insights of a development psychologist, a psychoanalyst, an entrepreneur and a teenage inventor and cancer researcher. We’re ready to enter the creative minds of a singer/songwriter, a comedian, an author and a reporter. And we’re prepared to open our minds to the worlds of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a conceptual artist and the founder of the World Toilet Organisation. 

TEDxSalford, we’re ready.  

See you in two weeks.