Wrote a blog on the TEDxGlasgow website. I am a TEDoPhile, so excuse the gushing. You can read the full post on the website here.
Who knew that a 17 minute YouTube video could reinvent my thinking? I didn’t until I saw Brene Brown and her talk on the Power of Vulnerability. That was my first memory of TED, and if I’m playing it up to be a life-altering event, that’s because it was.
Since then, my hunger for all things TED has been insatiable. I am constantly watching and re-watching the best talks, following the conferences, scrolling endlessly through the Twitter feed… I’ve listened to every TEDRadio Hour, and have been dying to get involved with a TED event for, well, ever.
American-born, and raised in Michigan, my parents were co-curators of the first TEDx Events in my hometown, Grand Rapids. When my studies brought me over to Glasgow in 2012, my parents found themselves very empty-nesters. The Three Muskateers, as we called ourselves, were separated and missing each other. Needless to say, Kurt and Angela Nahikian were hopping the pond as often as they could.
Now, I’m fairly certain my family is a TED magnet. Wherever we go, it finds us. And if I’m honest, I have no idea how my dad and Gurjit (the TEDxGlasgow curator) first came into contact. They are just the kind of people who seem to know everyone all the time, so I have always accepted the random introduction with an attitude of ‘Of course. Those two together. Of course’. I do, however, remember that first meeting. It was during one of my parents visits; a Sunday afternoon in February at the Corinthian. TEDxGlasgow was in full swing, planning and setting up the foundations for its inaugural year while TEDxGrandRapids was preparing for yet another conference. The partnership was a good one. Two cities with similar obstacles and complimentary goals, on opposite ends of the globe.
How exciting, I remember thinking, to have my two homes pursuing this really cool thing together. Oceans apart. How cool that this can happen here.
And 2 years later, here I am, finally arrived in the belly of the TED Beast. Buzzing to be a part of this incredible project. At once, TEDx both challenges and revels in its community. It finds the humanity behind great thinkers and excellent artists locally and brings them to an internationally recognised stage. It’s intimate, collaborative, and powerful; TEDx rejoices the spirit of the city.
Maybe this is what aligns me with TEDx, what draws me to it with a hint of obsessiveness: It brings out the best, the most challenging, and most inspiring parts of the incredible places we call home. TEDx celebrates our cities but it’s not just for the people of Glasgow, or the citizens of Grand Rapids. The voices raised at these events will be hear around the world. I should know.
After all, we live in an age where distance is no object. We are hyper-connected, and it’s not up for debate. But we must rise to it, right here, right now. Because this connectivity holds possibilities for collaborations we could have never imagined. And the partnerships and sparks ignited by TEDx are just the beginning.
In an age where communication and technology are developing exponentially, this kind of collective consciousness is is not only possible, it is vital. Innovation isn’t restricted by time or place. We share ideas with the flash of a few keys, cross entire continents with two clicks of a mouse. We reach out our hands and our touch is felt across the globe. We can change the world from anywhere.
So, why not here? Because “here” is now everywhere. It is not a time, or place. It is within us. This incredible, blossoming potential. We have arrived at the starting line, treasure map in hand. And the time is now. Ready, set, go.
‘X’ marks the spot… TEDxGlasgow 2015