Sunday, 8 April 2012

Pictures, stories and fun as TEDxEuston hosts TEDxChange

On Thursday April 5,  TEDxEuston  joined  several other TEDx organisers around the world to host a TEDxChange event! TEDxChange 2012 is a TEDx event co-organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TED, and was live streaming from Berlin, Germany. Convened by Melinda French Gates and hosted by Chris Anderson, TEDxChange focused on issues surrounding global health and development - aptly called "The Big Picture".

The first speaker was Jeff Chapin. He spoke about how he uses design as a means to address long standing social and environmental issues that exist in developing countries. His angle on latrine design resonated with a lot of us at TEDxEuston as we reminisced on the challenges of the past for us, but which remain present for many people we know. The next speaker was Sven Giegold is a Member of the European Parliament and one of the founding members of Attac Germany. Sven has dedicated much of his career towards green industry issues, speaking out on issues of globalization, ecology, and tax policy. One memorable line from his talk was ..."20 percent of power needs in Germany are covered by renewable energy"...A powerful lesson for Africa. While both speakers spoke well on important issues TEDxEuston...there was something missing.  Something we like to call it the "X" factor of TED!

But all that was to change when Theo Sowa to to the stage. Theo is currently the Interim CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, a pan African women’s grant making organization. Here are some tweets from the TEDxEuston community that will give you a flavour of her talk...
"Theo Sowa - don't speak for African women, without African women"
"The world seems to operate on the myth that there are only 6 African women leaders; but it's wrong an unfair"
"African women do not only be referred to as victims - we are a lot more!!!"
"At last, some inspiration...Thank you Theo Sowa! African women are not always victims"
"The audience is wowing for the first time at TEDxChange - guess for who? An African woman!"
"Honest talk given by Theo Sowa. Inspiring women on the frontline making a change!"
After some beautiful music by Baba Maal, Senegalese singer and guitarist - we moved to the main act- the talk by Melinda Gates - on the touchy issue of family planning. In many parts of the world, family planning and contraception are very sensitive topics. But these are issues of global importance that affect not just women all over the world, but also children, families, communities, countries, and the planet. This is what the community felt about the talk from our tweets...

"Melinda Gates talking about sex, yes sex at TEDxChange why is birth control so controversial?? We ask that too at"
"Men and women should be able to decide when they have a child"
"Birth control has disappeared from the global health agenda because of fear of controversy"
"Not abortion, Not population control, just a chance for women to live healthy lives"
"Catholicism cannot be a barrier to contraception. We must be able to question received teaching"
"Birth control is not linked to life is an example! - Melinda Fates"
"Is birth control really a sin?"
"Melinda Gates on birth control. Touchy subject, but I agree.Families should have a choice of when to have children"
"I want to bring every good thing to this child until I have another" - Melinda Gates
"Average family size going down around the world, just not quick enough in Africa"
"Only 10% of Nigerians use contraception' Melinda Gates. I'm not surprised"
"The Mississippi appendectomy- forceful sterilisation of African American women in the past- Melinda Gates"
"Will we sentence all women to 'Coitus Interruptus' which depends on men? - Melinda Gates"
"Where is the controversy in wanting the best for your children? - Melinda Gates controversy there!"
"Rich and poor govts alike must make access to contraception a priority"
You can still download the whole session here!

At the end of it great TEDxEuston tradition, we talked a bit, then a lot and then ended up dancing well into the night. A night of intellectual stimulation, inspiration, friendship, joy and love. Those that waited long enough caught a first glimpse at an exciting line-up of speakers for TEDxEuston 2012 - an Olympic TEDxEuston - in London,  it will be our biggest and just maybe - best ever! But the event will simply not be possible without an array of committed friends who volunteer their time to make it all come later that night we recognised some of them with plaques and certificates which we hope are now hanging in the centre of their sitting rooms :)!

There is something amazing about this TEDxEuston community.....don't quite know how to describe it...but to feel it...attend TEDxEuston 2012! Experience the deep thought, love, inspiration, and ideas in the pictures below. See  you all again soon as the conversation continues.....

You can see all the pictures from the night here!


  1. Mmmmm.... I wonder why such events only gets publicized much after it has happened?

  2. IMA - It was sent round to our circulation list - follow us on twitter, facebook or send us an email at and we will add you to the email list.