Thursday, 26 April 2012

SAVE THE DATE! TEDxEuston holds on December 1 2012

We are excited to announce the date of TEDxEuston 

December 1 2012 

The theme of this year's event is:

"Challenging Conventional Wisdom"

...and will take place at beautiful 


Registration details out soon!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Helen Lieberman @ TEDxEuston 2011 - Unlikely Heroes

We live in incredibly amazing times. In our generation, we have witnessed, to many people’s surprise, a relatively peaceful transition in South Africa from apartheid to an independent, free and multicultural country. But, have you ever wondered ....what the majority of people that grew up in privilege during the apartheid years do or not do all those years? One person that did not look away was Helen Lieberman. The first time she ventured into a township, Helen Lieberman felt as if the ground had fallen from underneath her. It was the mid-sixties and, like most white South Africans, she had never seen the poverty on the “other” side of the fence. Abandoning her profession as a speech therapist at Groote Schuur Hospital, the young Lieberman chose an alternative path...a path less less trodden. Day after day she returned to Langa and never looked back.

On the day of TEDxEuston 2011 – Helen was one of the first to arrive and sat through all the talks engrossed in every story. This typifies the woman that she is, never accepting praise but always deflecting it to the thousands of unsung heroes she has worked with over the years — the women who have cared unconditionally, often without any compensation, for vulnerable and orphaned children and abandoned seniors, the ones who built their own social service delivery systems when the government wouldn’t.

Listen to her moving talk here – if it means something to you – share it, widely.

Helen Lieberman is the founder and Honorary President of Ikamva Labantu (The Future of our Nation), a South African grassroots organisation, constituted in 1992, during the Apartheid years. Helen is a Speech Therapist by training, but 45 years ago turned her attention to the disenfranchised impoverished South African townships. Today Ikamva Labantu is one of the largest non-profit organisations in South Africa working to develop over 1,000 projects to sustainability. Helen’s work in this field has been recognized internationally. What started off as small and localized initiative has grown over the years into a vast organisation with connections throughout the world. The success of Ikamva Labantu has led to the establishment of international partnerships with a wide range of humanitarian organisations, from universities to large NGOs and major corporations. Friends of Ikamva Labantu have been established in the United States, the UK, Germany, France, Australia and Holland. Helen lives in Cape Town with her husband Michael. She has three children, one each in Cape Town, New York and Melbourne, and six grandchildren.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

TEDxEuston team @ TEDxSummit in Doha

This week, two members of our team are in Doha, Qatar for the first ever TEDxSummit. This is a summit of all the TEDx event organisers worldwide to brainstorm on ideas to keep creating the events, the tribe, the community the passion that is changing the way we interact with our world. - the power of "x"! Ill blog about the event later in the week but first to speak about our first day in this incredible city called Doha.

Arriving early on Saturday morning, I went straight into town to look around and wow ...what a sight! Despite the challenges in the global economy there there seemed to be more skyscrapers going up in Doha than anywhere else in the world.

Nothing better encapsulates the transformation going on in Doha than this billboard. I particularly liked the emphasis on "Think".

Most of my morning was spent at the SHELL Research and Technology Centre in the Qatar Science and Technology Park....and what a trip it was. We were taken on a tour round the facility by an amazing group of scientists that shared with us cutting edge science at this facility. What I had here thereto not quite imagined were the incentives offered by Qatar to oil companies to not only move their oil production capacity to Qatar but also their research capacity; from CO2 conservation to Sulphur to new Gas to Liquid fuels....I was in awe not only of the science but of the passion of the scientists and pride in the facility. Of course all this time, thinking of the opportunities lost in Nigeria. Pictures here!

After this I met up with Ike and Maz-Jordan Degadjor of TEDxDzorwulu in Ghana and we headed off to the Museum for Islamic Arts. Now this was a complete eye opener! The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts and dedicated to reflecting the full vitality, complexity, and diversity of the arts of the Islamic world. It is a world-class collecting institution - rich in history and art - absolutely beautiful in its design. No surprise as it was designed by Pei, who was coaxed out of retirement to design this. It is was built on the water,  surrounded by a park. Pictures here. 

Then as is with these things - a group naturally came together at the end of the day and headed out to the Souq - a popular old market square in the middle of Doha. Yes, there was no alcohol - but still with the energy in the group - we barely noticed. We had a blast - ably led by out host from Doha - Sheik Uzair! We did just fine with tea and shisha! Pictures here. 

As the first day in Doha came to an felt like a week! But we knew that the best was yet to come. This week ...we would feel the power of "X" the power "x". More gist later! 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston - Africans can save Africa

There are few African bankers that have the reputation of integrity that Arnold Ekpe has. There is no better example to of our ability as Africans to redefine our continent, in its ambitions and its perception than Mr Ekpe. At TEDxEuston he takes us through some anecdotes from his professional journeys showing the opportunities being missed in intra African trade. He promised not to bore the audience with statistics and went ahead to deliver a talk that was one of the highlights of the evening.

Mr. Arnold Ekpe has been Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational, Inc., and its subsidiary, Ecobank Group since 2005. He has over 28 years of African and international banking experience having also worked in Europe, South Africa and West Africa for Citibank and First Chicago. He served as the Group Chief Executive. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from Manchester University and Manchester Business School respectively.

Watch his amazing talk here

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

TEDxEuston - Hadeel Ibrahim - People powered leadership

When a young Tunision boy set himself on fire, frustrated with life and his future in Tunisia, no one could quite imagine the chain of events that would follow. Hadeel Ibrahim eloquently describes how that one action sent shock waves across the African continent. Can civil society be put back into a box in Africa after these events? Can emerging business elite turn the continent around? Will social media and mobile phones really have the impact we imagine. Hadeel carefully makes the arguments and leaves us deep in thought and inspired on the potential to change our experience of our continent - and not just during the election year.  From exit strategies to game changers – this talk will leave you deep in thought about the things that matter most!

Watch her fascinating talk HERE

Hadeel Ibrahim is founding executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which was established in 2006 to support good governance and great leadership in Africa. She is also on the board of Refugees International and UNESCO's LEAP programme, which fosters local effort and preservation of cultural heritage. Prior to this, she spent time with the Africa section of Actis private equity investors, and with the private equity fund management group EMP Africa. Hadeel graduated from Bristol university with a degree in Politics and Philosophy.

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!