Ascending, TEDxAuckland 2014

On Saturday, 16 August 2014, the ASB Aotea Centre in Auckland CBD played host to TEDxAuckland 2014 whose theme was Ascending. In the event's own words:

Ascending is about individuals and society rising to a higher level of consciousness.

Ascending is about finding the positives in any situation and building on them to make our lives, community, business and planet better.

At the end of a long, glorious day wherein we were introduced to cold brew coffee (finally, Lawd Jesus; NZ-owned, fair trade and organic; my heart) and witnessed a hall of 2,000+ strong spectators transform into a percussive drumming force for positive change, the impressive list of speakers left us glutted on food for thought.

This is, of course, not an exhaustive summary of the core messages (or even all speakers; for some speakers there was more than one within their project's journey), but they will speak best for themselves when the talks are available from the TED website.

  1. Food is the problem and the solution. When NZ produces a rugby field worth of waste in one week as high as goal posts, 50% of which is compostible, waste becomes a resource ($$). Zero waste restaurants exist proving we can be smarter about our habits.
  2. Inventors have little concept of what can or cannot be done to solve a problem. If in doubt, tap kids' wild imaginations. If still in doubt, drum on something. Then try again.
  3. People, planet and profit: these priorities don't have to be mutually exclusive. Think in systems (how each part is connected, its causes and effects), think about the future, and engage others to do the same.
  4. If you're going to exercise the Kiwi #Number8Ingenuity‬ for innovation, properly invest in your R&D, commercialise it for real world application and collaborate, but remember to patent yo product and the process. ‪#‎wirelesspowercometh‬
  5. No matter your goal, break it down to bite-sized pieces. Do impossible things. Climb that mountain. Run that 1000km in a year (3km/day). It only seems impossible until you've done it. And then do more impossible things.
  6. Do not waste your time, resources or talents; skill up and look out for opportunities. There is no greater waste of time than regret.
  7. We protect what we love; we love what we understand; we only understand what we are taught, so never stop learning. ‪#‎sharksarefriendsnotfood‬
  8. If you need an exercise in practicing kindness or projecting love, imagine each person you meet is the love of your life - but they have amnesia - so you have to play it cool, joyous and vibrating love until they remember. Love is our natural state of being. It's from this foundation that we build and realise our potential.
  9. Language is powerful. Instead of asking what's wrong with someone who has a disability, consider instead what they can teach us about what makes each of us truly exceptional.
  10. In the face of death, it's not that we're passing, but who and how we leave that matters.
  11. Telling stories has always been our greatest form of empathy. Imagine a future where you could interact with a story across multiple platforms (television + social media + street art + insert any other here). ‪#‎Transmedia‬ storytelling: upgrading the old campfire dynamic. It's already happening.