If like me not so long ago, you have never heard of TED, let me just briefly explain what it is about. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) started off in California in the 80s and has been an annual event since 1990. At these events, speakers will give short inspirational talks and present "Ideas Worth Spreading". These talks are filmed and made available on the website TED.com.
Nowadays independent "TEDx" events are held in cities all over the world. Last Wednesday I attended the first TEDx Luxembourg City event. I had signed up and purchased a ticket (45 EUR) in January. The event itself was very well organised from beginning to end: participants received a tag with their name, a goody bag full of goody stuff (pen, notebook, USB memory stick, keyring, etc.), drinks and finger food were served.
During the afternoon, 16 live talks were given, a few "California talks" videos were shown on a big screen and a couple of musical performances took place. The speakers came from all kinds of different backgrounds but their talks revolved around and touched the theme of the conference:"Failure?".
The general message that I took home was that whatever we may instinctively perceive as a failure is only a failure if we decide to attach this meaning to it. And sometimes we need to experience continuous failing, in order to reach success. One speaker, Pedro Castilho, listed three characteristics that resilient people have in common: relativisation, hard work and enthusiasm. Another speaker, Yvonne O'Reilly, reminded the audience of the importance of the power of now. Whatever we want next, we have to create now and we have to stop playing safe. We need to believe in our dreams and reconnect with the lost creativity that we had as children.
The second strong message was that we as individuals and as a society have to take responsibility for our future. Have we ever asked ourselves what happens to products after we dispose of them? Have we ever stopped for a second and realised how much power we have and can influence the world around us?