I was really stoked to be attending my very first TedXCapeTown this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s been on in Cape Town for FIVE YEARS already. Where have I been? The doors opened at 8:30am, which meant I had to get up earlier on a Saturday than I do during the week and if you know me, that’s a big ask LOL! But come Saturday morning, crappy weather and all, I got out of bed and made my way through to city hall. As I circled the block, I had so much admiration for those who had clearly been in the queue a lot longer than I had even been nearby, respect! I think these people must have had day jobs for years LOL, they were so ampt and perky!
Once inside, it was a joy to be around people who were interested in new ideas, hearing people out and listening to adventures. I recently posted a video about Hugh Laurie talking about apathy being the great enemy of the world and he is 100% correct. Appearing cool and popular is so much more important these days than being young, exploring, learning about others and educating oneself – in all matters of new things. It’s sad really. So, without going on a tangent, I was happy to be around engaging people.
Before finding a seat in the auditorium, I explored some of the sponsors and exhibitions. I spoke to Lee from Accenture Digital, who told me about their work in creating digital solutions for brands’ goals, from concept to building the solution to monitoring the results. It was great to chat to someone from a big digital agency (I work at a little one).
Next was Hein from the Fujifilm stand. He had set up his camera where visitors could take a picture via his iPad. Remove triggering and then printing, sending the pics elsewhere, etc. It was fun and we took this cute pic.
Lastly I spoke to the guys from Kat-O who had a 3D printer. It was so cool! I’ve seen a few programs about printing things in real life (so crazy, I know!) and now I’ve seen it in real life. This could be such an amazing solution to so many technological and engineering issues. Missing a part? Don’t worry! We’ll just “print” you a new one. It’s too crazy and awesome.
There was also a table with cool gadgets on, like unusual clocks. They’re encouraging people to give people science/engineering a chance and build their own versions. I didn’t quite have time to hear how though, but it was fun to see their pretty and unique designs anyway.
I found my place in the City Hall auditorium and it was awesome. I sat next to two younger guys, who I wish I’d spoken to a little more. I was alone so felt a bit random just starting a conversation with two dudes, so I just stuck to myself. Except when a picture of my home town came along, then I was like, SAY WHAT?! hehe Siv Ngesi was our host for the day. I have mixed feelings about his presenting but he did a good job on this day (he was gracious which I appreciated).
There were a number of interesting talks starting with Kyle Louw, spoken word/poet. He spoke about his passion for poetry and the difference it makes in his life as well as his journey and work as a spoken word poet in the last few years.
The second speaker was Ian McCallum who spoke about Poetry and Nature. His background is in psychiatry, he is now the director of the Wilderness Foundation. He is an author and professor and adventurer. He completed a 5000km journey through six African continents in order to highlight the importance of nature. He spoke about his passion through poetry.
Braam Malherbe came next, he was one of my favourite speakers of the day. He spoke of his shallow, wealthy life before he lost it all and changed direction to become an adventurer. I should say, OUTRAGEOUS adventures as he has been travelling all over the world in the most crazy way, including, running the entire length of the Great Wall of China in a single attempt (which took nearly 100 days because you have a run a marathon every day to achieve it!). He then ran the entire coastline of South Africa. In 2011 he participated in an unassisted race to the South Pole (this guy is nuts). He continues to adventure with his next project DOT (Do One Thing), which will be to circumnavigate the globe (Tropic of Capricorn) in order to make contact with 1 billion people to raise money for clef lip.
Our first lady speaker was doctor Tuffin who works to improve patient care processes in the Western Cape. Often patients are dying from totally preventable diseases in state hospitals, she is working to reduce.
When then had a small tea break, followed by a musical interlude at the start of the second set of talks. Ironically, the music part was my least favourite – not because the musicians weren’t good! But because I spend so much time with music, I was just hungry for the talks hehe For those who never spend time with music though, I think it was a good addition. (Unfortunately I didn’t catch the band’s name, feel free to leave a comment and I will add title in.)
My next favourite talk of the day came from Siswe Mzobe. The name of his talk already intrigued me, “Why do we have to move out?” I thought it was going to be a talk from a psychologist about why some young adults needs to get a life and move out from their parents and learn to stand on their own two feet! I was totally wrong! I was about Siswe’s work as a town planner and the upgrading of informal settlements in union with the residents of those areas; not just the government coming in, building, leaving but discussing what the locals really want and need and why they don’t choose to move out of townships because of those wants. It was a great talk and wonderful to hear about what the issues and needs of those living in informal settlements are, I really enjoyed it.
This was followed by Dr Eve, who I have worked with previously while at Heart FM and Clicks Live. She’s a lovely lady (irrespective of online hate that she gets), and everyone enjoyed her talk thoroughly. She spoke about digital infidelity, what it means, how it affects people and couples, where the world is currently in terms of services provided for infidelity, etc. Ironically, she spoke about the Ashley Madison’s website and surveys that she sent to people to complete in order to receive feedback. (Ashley Madison is a married couple’s cheating website that was hacked this week, with the hackers threatening to release all the names of those who have participated). At one point she said that many women are sexually unsatisfied in relationships and when she asked them what they thought satisfaction included, their response was hugging and snuggling. This then provoked a loud, shocked ‘WHAT?!?!!’ from an audience member, which set the auditorium off in a fit of laughter. It was a great talk.
Myrna Lewis spoke about a topic that I had never really thought about – constructive conflict resolution. I never thought professionals actually went into areas of high conflict and helped to try resolve it. Just never assumed it and always thought the fighting parties could figure it out. She spoke about methods and scenarios that were common and some small pointers on how to deal with conflict more effectively. I don’t feel that she had enough time to really illustrate the depth of her work, but I think what she does is so complex that it may have been difficult to put it into a 20 minutes speech! None the less, it was interesting to listen and consider.
The final talk for the day (that I managed to catch) came from Marke Dziembowski, who I dubbed the eclipse chaser. He told us about his experiences with eclipse travels – where he travels the globe in order to witness and study eclipses. From South Africa to Easter Island, he has traveled to many locations to learn more (and enjoy) the celestial exhibitions. His quirky nature cracked the audience up a few times and spread joy through out the hall while he spoke of his passion.
This wrapped up the second session, followed by a lunch. Unfortunately a bunch of kids took about 2 to 3 meals each and a few of the items quickly ran out! But, of what I could see, most people were very satisfied and enjoyed their meals, which were included in the price. You know how people are with food – GREEDY! I really hate that, but TedX was well organised and ensured that everyone was fed.
Sadly I had to move onto my next engagement for the day (a baby shower) so I wasn’t able to join for the next two sessions. I’m sure they would have been super interesting and I’d love to return to TedX Cape Town 2016.
Well done to the organisers and thank you to the sponsors. These events really do make our city engaging and interesting. I also want to thank the people who attended for giving a damn! If we don’t care, who will? Keep those ideas worth spreading going. Until next year, stay inspired 🙂