Sacrificing Sleep and Swimming Through Sludge

September 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

I like sleep. I am not a morning person. Waking up early feels like swimming through sludge. But, I woke up at 5:30 this morning so I could catch a bus to the UW for TEDxSEA a TEDxChange event.

What is TEDx?

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

TEDxChange is a TEDx event organized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) people at UW helped organize the event.

The conversation centered around the UN Millenium Development Goals

Here are some highlights:

Anita Verna Crofts, Associate Director of the UW MCDM program: We all crave purpose in our lives. Leadership is the glue that binds transactional and transformational change. Storytelling inspires change.

Bill Gates Sr.: Our sense of community keeps getting bigger. We’re all in this together. Compassion and curiosity has always been a part of who we are.

Live from NY:

Hans Rosling, a master at making stats come alive, alludes that female literacy affects (lowers) child mortality rates stating later that a recent study shows almost 50% of the fall in child mortality rates can be attributed to female education.

Melinda Gates, a polished presenter, examines Coca Cola’s success and notes real-time data turns on the lights. When communicating for change, we need aspirational messages that have the appeal of celebration and unity. She goes on to say that we make a fundamental mistake when we think if people need something we don’t have to help them want it.

Graca Michel speaks powerfully referring to Rwanda and women in leadership that we need to put women and girls at the center to bring about social change. When you invest in women, you yield social change.

Melinda Gates’ concluding remarks: Change is possible. If we put the right tools, particularly in women’s hands, they will lift themselves up, lift their families up, and lift whole societies up.

The event was a “networking breakfast” and unfortunately I didn’t make many connections at this event and I’m not sure it was worth swimming through the sludge of “too early” since the webcast is available for viewing online now.


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