Well I got through TEDx somehow. Despite all my fears and worries as I’ve been writing about over the last few weeks, I manage to survive the event and lived to tell the tale.
In fact, the TEDx Whitehaven team put us all at ease. Myself and six other speakers turned up the evening before to ‘try out’ the stage and stand on the ominous ‘big red spot’. As we got to know one another the lighting and sound crew checked details, our requirements and went through making adjustments, so we relaxed and started to think “you know what? We might just pull this off!” Well I did anyway, I’m not sure about the others.
The speakers came from all walks of life with a range of experiences. All their talks were fascinating, if not actually heart-rending at times. From good advice on how to run a small business well to dealing the crisis of the Cumbrian floods, we all took our own take on the overall theme of ‘Human connectors’. I would love to tell you about each talk but I don’t want to prattle on longer than necessary nor would I do justice to the speakers themselves. But when the talks come online I will make sure I post and give you all the links.
I was fortunate (or unlucky depending on your point of view) to be given the closing slot of the event, I think because mine was the most global of the talks and made a ‘big picture’ of the day. ‘Big pictures’ are my speciality really…
Over the weeks leading up to the day, on Facebook and Twitter, I made a bit of a thing about ‘wearing a skirt’ and while that was deliberately provocative, it was also true – well, sort of. There was a reason for it and some of you, when you see the pictures below, will understand instantly what I was doing. For the rest of you, you’ll have to wait for the talk itself to find out, ha ha. What was funny however, was that during the rehearsal there was so much talk of my skirt-wearing that the other speakers began to joke they would wear skirts too. At one point I thought the men might just follow through! Thankfully they didn’t; after all that would have upstaged me something rotten.
So what did I talk about? Well, in summary, my talk traced a little of my journey from coming from a very white-centric upbringing which was fearful of other cultures to living in Bangladesh and learning from a culture so alien to mine that it actually helped me see my own culture clearly. From this I went on to argue that we all need to embrace the ‘Global village’ of which we are automatically members and lay aside our small-minded nationalistic and cultural boundaries.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with a slideshow of the best pics from the day, some professionally done by the amazing Gary McKeating and others either by myself or the speakers. My thanks to all who took them. If you want to see the full set of pictures by Gary then you can see them here.