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19 February 2016

TED Day

Thursday was my TEDx Talk at the University of Edinburgh! But before I tell you all about it, I have to say THANK YOU to all my friends and followers for the flood of good wishes on my blog and Facebook. Your enthusiastic support meant so much to me, and it really did help! I'm so grateful for you all!
      So - onto the day!
     I was pleased to get six hours of sleep the night before - a miracle really considering how excited I was when I went to bed. It was like Christmas Eve, and my speech kept running over and over again in my head. I awoke at 5:00am, even though the alarm was set for 6:30. I was ready to GO!!!
     Speakers arrived at Central Hall at 9:00. We gathered in a green room where many of us met for the first time - all great people. Then we took to our corners and private spaces to run through our speeches. Finally, the organizers escorted us out to our seats. Those of us speaking in the morning were seated in the upstairs balcony, where our comings and goings wouldn't be terribly disruptive. (We switched seats with the second group after lunch.) It was also easy access to bathrooms and the behind-the-stage greenroom.
     The event began with an inspirational video about TED talks around the world, and how meaningful the organization has become. Loved it! That was followed by African drumming and dancers. Got our blood flowing first thing in the morning - I tell you! Have a gander at the EUTV's wrap-up of the day - click the image to watch on Youtube:
     The lineup of speakers was truly impressive. I'll introduce you to them in the order of their appearances. (Stan took most of these photos, by the way.) First was Jo Simpson, Executive Coach and author. She spoke about "The courage to trust yourself...listen to the nudges."
Of the 12 speakers, eight were invited speakers (I was one of those) and four were students who had been selected from a larger group that had gone through months of weekly meetings and lessons to fine tune their speaking skills and speeches. They were true stars!
     Sabrina Syed, student of architecture, was the first of the students and she gave an amazing talk called "How to feel in place, any place." It was like watching a career launch - fabulous!
Professor of sociology and specialist in theories of crime, harm and justice, Lynne Copson spoke next about "How to demystify academia (and why we should bother)."
Michael Gidney, CEO of Fair Trade, spoke next about "Change is in your pocket." I missed most of his talk on the day, as it was time for me to start getting ready. But I did see him talk during the practice runs on Wednesday, and it was a powerful talk about how we can't claim 'we didn't know' in today's social media age.
I was up next! My talk was called "Is your stuff stopping you?" (CLICK HERE to read my entire blurb.) I was pretty proud of myself. I said what I wanted to say and remembered all the important bits. I did, however, forget the phrase "planned obsolescence." I gave myself a second to recall it, but when it didn't come, I just said, "Let's move on," and I did. So, I wasn't perfect, but overall, I was quite happy with how I did. I'll share as soon as the video goes live.
Vimbai Midzi, another student, followed me. I missed most of her talk as well, because a reporter from Freshair was interviewing several of us after our talks. Their interviews will go live HERE soon. But I saw Vimbai speak during our Master Class and she was powerful. She's an avid twitterer, so you can follow this dynamic young woman on her life journey.
Lunch was a catered buffet, quite nice, with an entire corner for us gluten-free folks. (It was the last thing I was thinking of, so I'm glad they did!) It was a lovely two-hour break with a quartet
followed by a fantastic guitarist/singer. Daniel Duke.
There were activities in various alcoves, including a display of artwork by fellow MFA student, Chiho Nishiwaka, representing each of the student speakers (about 15 of them total). That was fun to see!
During lunch, lots of folks came up to talk to me about my speech, gave me compliments, and said, "Guess what I'll be doing this weekend...cleaning out my closets!" I loved it!
     They also displayed the @TDxUoE twitter threads on the big screen, so I was able to view the online responses, including quotes. I was quoted quite a bit, which made me smile. This one said, "'Stuff gives the illusion of permanence says @dulemba @TEDxUoE. Are you an experience-based person or a collecting one?" Joy!
I loved that I spoke in the morning. By lunch, I was done with the hard part. So I was able to truly focus on the following speakers, relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
      After lunch, the second batch of speakers fired up. I should mention, we were each introduced by TEDx Event Coordinator Lily Asch and volunteer Pedro Leandro of The Improverts. Lily was one of the student speakers last year, and they both did an amazing job!
      Performance poet Catherine Wilson was the third student speaker. She started the second batch with "Making poetry loud." She stays busy with performances during Fringe Festival, and I could see why!
Jennifer Culbertson, a linguist and Chancellor's Fellow spoke next about "The hidden symmetry of language." She stressed the commonalities of how we all communicate, no matter our languages - fascinating!
Cardiovascular doctor and scientist Dr. Matthew Bailey followed her with a talk about salt and its impact on our society in "My genes don't fit! Living in a salt-saturated society."
The final student speaker, Chloe Edmundson went next. She spoke about "Unleashing the potential of university ecosystems." Her insights were promising and I have a feeling she'll make a different in the world one day. Sadly, we didn't get a photo of her in action, but she did great!
      Emma van der Merwe spoke next about "Why I do something every day that scares me." She opened and closed with the point, at which point Lynne and I (we were sitting in the first row during her talk) turned to each other and said, "Already done it!"
Deri Llewellyn-Davis, adventurer and speaker closed with his experience of climbing Mt. Everest during the earthquake in "Everest: F*** the fear, it's not real anyway."
Three videoed TED Talks interspersed the live ones, tying together this year's theme of 'Connecting the Dots.' So it was a thorough day.
      At the end they had us all come back up onstage for a final bow. (Not everybody is in this photo, but I'm hoping to share the official group shot soon. Chloe is third from he left.)

And that was that! The crowd filtered out and the rest of us fell apart around the stage taking photos with the TED letters and each other. Here are Catherine and Vimbai.
Me with the TED sign.
And with our amazing speech coach Mel Sherwood.
Here I am with my main contact throughout, Miri MacFarlane. She's the one I originally met with who got me invited to this amazing affair. LOVE her!
In fact, the entire event was run by amazing volunteers. This many of them...
In this crowd is also Shannen Prijatna and Event Coordinator Vincent Nimoh, although I didn't get a photo with either of them. Miss!
     Truly, everybody worked their bums off to make the day exceptional. If you're reading this - I'm sending you all big fuzzy hugs of gratitude! You were an impressive bunch of dedicated and brilliant people!
     Afterwards, many of us headed for the Blackbird pub where we celebrated with lots of clinks, well-earned cheering and congratulations! THANK YOU, THANK YOU all for letting me be a part of such a tremendous experience! CLICK HERE for updates and to learn more about this fantastic event!

5 comments :

Teresa Kravtin said...

You are a rock star!!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Awesome! Can't wait to see your talk when it's posted. Thanks for sharing this special day with us; every speaker sounds terrific. [And - CONGRATS! You did it!] XO

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

I'll share the video as soon as I have. THANK YOU guys!!! Hugs, hugs, e

candice said...

You were wonderful! I cleaned out my closet! But the rest of my stuff stays. People will be giving up "Kon-Mari" for "E"!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Ha! We'll see! Congratulations on the closet. As I said, "Maybe you just streamline a bit." Glad I got you on it! Cheers, e

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