Mike Essex

76 Ideas From TEDx Brighton About Legacy And Heritage

25th Oct 2013 News, Events 8 minutes to read

TEDx BrightonTED conferences are something I’ve always been in awe of, so when I was given the chance to attend TEDx Brighton I jumped at the chance. So you can get involved as well throughout the day today I’ll be bringing you my favourite tips from every talk.

This year’s theme is legacy and heritage with journalists, artists, choreographers, designers, mathematicians and more sharing their views on the topic.

Session 1

Konrad Brits, Founder and Managing Director of Falcon Coffees (@falconcoffee)

  • We are all the same but we don’t all have the same access to resources, and that is what defines us. Poverty is often mistaken for ignorance.
  • If businesses get their goods from the poor to sell to the rich, they have an opportunity to drive social change in those poorer regions.
  • Wherever you trade you can have a positive impact. There are many businesses that have apathy and inaction. There is no reason you can’t make a profit and improve the lives of those who work for you.
  • Every process in a supply chain has risks and an attempt to maximise profit. However if you can generate trust through transparency then everyone in the chain can work together to achieve a sustainable product. Collaboration belongs in every supply chain, regardless of the product.
  • If you want to travel swiftly, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together.

Kate Genevieve, Artist & director at C H R Θ M A‏ (@kategenevieve)

  • New technologies have an opportunity to break down the barriers between the senses and the media we consume. We can create altered bodily experiences.
  • We are social animals; the presence of others affects us. The boundary between ourselves and others is very thin.
  • Kate uses VR experiences with the feeling of senses to generate feelings in her experiments. It shows how we can better represent experiences and connections.
  • We should be thinking about how to use the new multisensory devices that are being launched to bring us into our own reality, rather than to escape reality.

Dr. Mick Taylor, Founder of OurFest (@drmicktaylor)

  • Money is as essential to modern life as air and water. It only has value because we have faith in it and its everlasting tokens (notes and coins).
  • Yet only 3% of all UK money is notes and coins. The rest is debt lent to people and companies. In other words, IOUs. This means that when loans are repaid the money disappears.
  • This is one of the reasons money is often misunderstood even by economists, politicians and bankers.
  • If people don’t pay back their loans at the same rate as new ones are made, the total amount of money either increases or decreases. The financial crisis therefore meant there was not enough money to go around.
  • If we want less debt we have to put up with less money. It’s impossible to have less debt and more money.
  • Part of the issue is that the private sector and government have control. It would be better if an independent party had control with full reserve banking (where everything is everlasting tokens not IOUs).

Subathra Subramaniam, Director at Sadhana Dance (@sadhanadance)

  • It’s possible to convey topics such as science through the form of physical expression.
  • Subathra illustrated this with a small piece about the reducing availability of water.
  • If we can use physical performance effectively it can help to pull on emotions and instil an action.
  • This isn’t just dance. Many aspects of the way we work have a collaboration and choreography to it. For example, when doctors perform a surgery there is a flow to the way it is done.
  • There is an unspoken language to all types of work. Find the way your work flows and focus on that.

Session 2

Leila Johnston, Writer, Technologist and Broadcaster (@finalbullet)

  • We define our life by milestones of time that are on the horizon. This can be dangerous as it can make us passive and forced to do something to honour that point (e.g. the millennium or a birthday).
  • We predict that things which seem important to us in the present will be important to those in the future. This isn’t always true (e.g. the millennium dome). We can’t always predict what the future will want.
  • We already exist in someone else’s past. Our perception of the future is always dictated by our present. But the future will have the burden of our activities.
  • We are not the end of the line we are just the beginning.
  • We believe the past was great, the future will be better and we don’t always embrace the now. In truth the present is all we have.

Duncan Baker-Brown, Director of BBM Sustainable Design  (@BBMarchitects)

  • There are always limited resources. If your competitors are working on a project that will draw heavily on the available resources, you need to get them first.
  • For every five houses built, the equivalent waste would be enough for one more to be built.
  • You need to know where your raw materials come from and the consequence of obtaining them.
  • Reduce what you use before you reuse and before you recycle. There is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place.
  • The things we waste can be a valuable resource. Throwing stuff away costs money as does finding new raw materials. It’s better to be in the middle.

Sam Watling, Writer For Brighton Left

  • The major changes in human life have always been due to shifts in lifestyle. The latest shift is due to computer technology. The days are gone when information was easy to control. The individual has never been more empowered.
  • Systems must be reformed to accommodate technology. However the education system has not changed for a long time.
  • Students lose their individuality and are granted anonymity by the use of rote learning. This leads to herd behaviour.
  • Teachers are not immune to the power dynamic that they are the ones solely responsible for getting the most from their students and enforcing control. Your educational experience is dictated by how good your teacher is and even then it is not possible for them to effectively teach the entire class.
  • Solutions include independent study, 1 to 1 mentoring, unique timetables for each student and online learning.

Xinran Xue, Journalist and Broadcaster  (@mothersbridge)

  • There are lots of misconceptions about China in the West. Even now.
  • It is important to understand the roots of your culture and others.
  • Not just on the generalisations people pass on but by studying them.
  • Education should go beyond the classroom, as it is a blue sky everyone can share that allows children to feel special and cared for. It is something we can all share.

Session 3

Chris Evans-Roberts, Managing Director of Ithaca Audio Ltd (@cevansroberts)

  • Should we be able to create content just using over people’s work? Many people do this online, not to make a profit but to share an idea.
  • Do the laws that govern this effectively cover how we create and share content? Often these laws hold people back.
  • For example, does a child covering a song on YouTube mean she has broken a law?
  • We’ve gone from a culture of mass consumers to one of mass creators. The level of freedom we give people to do this is a key issue.
  • Creative Commons licences are one way creators can allow others to use their work. There needs to be a balance between the freedom of creative people and the ability to make money from that content.

Dr. Meg Barker, Psychology & counselling teacher at the Open University (@megbarkerpsych)

  • In our culture we are in a state of relationship uncertainty. We are getting mixed messages from society on what is right and wrong.
  • We are encouraged to inspire for love, belonging and togetherness, but at the same time striving for personal fulfilment.
  • There is an incredible amount of pressure for relationships to be perfect based on a series of “old” rules.
  • People that strive to go outside of these rules are often ridiculed or seen negatively.
  • As a culture we should pass on the idea of embracing uncertainty, rather than telling someone to follow specific relationship rules.

Nikki Crumpton, Regional Planning Director EMEA, and Head of McCann Pioneers at McCann Worldgroup (@firecoda)

  • Legacy can be both positive and negative. Any PR or advertising campaign must look at the good and bad press and determine whether it worked.
  • Everything you do now builds equity for the future.
  • ROI is a tired legacy. It’s not always a good thing to get the same thing out as you put in. Now we should consider Return on Involvement.
  • For example, those who got involved with the Olympics got more than those who just spent the advertising money.
  • The Superhumans campaign for the Paralympics game was designed to disrupt expectations and legacy. Reframing the way people think can raise the bar.

Dave Waller, Journalist and Creator of the Excursions live show (@diagonaldave)

  • When people turn their back on existing culture they can generate something new and powerful.
  • Look at the rise of rap culture, which was born in a single place and time.
  • It later crossed cultures and boundaries. No one could have predicted this.
  • Everything you do or bring to the table someone will pick up, so long as you commit to it.

Session 4

Carol Pearson, Chartered Accountant and Artist (@carol_j_pearson)

  • We should talk more about medical issues as a culture.
  • If we don’t then they will never be solved and that is a poor legacy for us to leave.
  • Some diseases make people unemployable yet there is little effort put in to cure them.

Aral Balkan, Board Member of CodeClub (@aral)

  • We stand at a crossroad between owning our data and having no control.
  • We experience and manipulate the world around us with our devices. They either empower or enfeeble us.
  • Google needs your data in order to grow. Everything you do is another way for them to get more data from you, even their sold products such as the Nexus.
  • Terms and conditions may apply is a good documentary about this topic.
  • Open source platforms could be the solution. Firefox OS is one such open platform, however it is very poor right now.

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