Part of my vision for this platform was to touch on social and cultural issues affecting not only black females, but also everyone around the world. I have always been interested in debate and always open to discuss the bigger issues in life. Make up is interesting, but what good is a fleeky eyebrow shape and an on point contour when the world you exist in is unsustainable.
Don’t worry I promise to not get too serious on you, but as females, as individuals and as global citizens, the social, economic and political landscape on which we reside is continually changing and shifting. The tectonic plates of change are constantly moving and evolving with each day.
2017 is now well under way and part of my goal was to begin to infuse big ideas into my blog. A perfect opportunity arose last year when I was discussing this with one of my best friends. We always hold political debates and we got to talking about social awareness amongst young people and this drove me to refocus the ideas and message I want to channel in my blog.
Long story short, part of my vision was to introduce a place to voice ideas and opinions on cultural issues and here is my way of beginning that. I decided to attend events that would showcase this to give you all insight into ways in which we can empower ourselves through beginning new conversations and sharing ideas.
My first of these Blush spotlight posts was TedxTalks. These are independently organised events with specified themes with a core focus to ignite conversation.
The theme for this particular event was X Changes Everything.
The core focus for all of the speeches at these event was the impact of a particular subject matter and how it really did change everything.
The speech topics ranged from Hair,
Speaker #1: Dave Troy
CEO and co-founder at 410Labs, and creator of Mailstrom. He has been working on mapping out social relationships and discovering patterns in data that affect societal behaviour.
Dave’s talk was hugely informative and spoke of the impact of social mapping and how this played such a huge impact in the recent shifts in political power in America and following the United Kingdom’s Brexit decision.
Speaker #2: Catherine Mallyon
Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, passionate about integrating art into daily life and introducing new ideas through the RSC.
Catherine spoke on the impact of the role of the Royal Shakespeare Company and how it has been involved in helping infuse energy and engage children both socially and mentally throughout their involvement in the many workshops they run throughout the country. As a huge fan of Shakespeare myself, it was wonderful to know how much Shakespeare was still impacting children’s lives long after he wrote his plays all those years ago.
Speaker #3: Jo Boaler
Stanford researcher, professor of maths education, and expert on maths learning. She studies how the brain processes mathematics learning and how to develop a positive maths mindset.
Jo’s talk was really inspiring to hear and focused on getting children to approach mathematics from a completely different perspective. It really highlighted the work she is currently working on to distil the fears and misconceptions that are discouraging for children and making mathematics seem difficult and at times impossible for children.
The video for her talk is currently not up on Youtube, but I will update is as soon as I find it.
Speaker #4: Emma Lawrence
Emma is a student in Clinical Neuroscience, using modelling and brain imaging to understand more about how our brains learn, make decisions, and pay attention to the things that are currently important; and how these processes are altered by anxiety. She is also interested in science communication, having joined a travelling science circus to tour Australia and share her passion for science developed in her undergraduate physics and chemistry career. On a mission to connect to those experiencing mental illness and show that we are never alone, Emma co-Founded the ‘It Gets Brighter’ campaign, which brings video messages of hope and support to those struggling with mental health issues. She is also passionate about environmental conservation, and enjoys spending time in nature as much as possible.
Speaker #5: Nikki Eberhardt
Nikki Eberhardt is a second year executive MBA student at Balliol College, University of Oxford and is completing her PhD in Global Sociology at the University of Utah. Her research explores and advocates for refugee youth access to academic social capital. Particularly passionate to empower girls in developing countries, she was co-founder and president to a United Nations Women Chapter. She campaigns to end extreme poverty with Global Citizen and drives communication strategy and charity partner activations for Delta Air Lines.
Speaker #6: Steve Whitla
Founder of Visual Meaning, which helps people make sense of complex systems using visual maps. a company that helps large organisations make sense of how they work, and how they need to change, using conceptual maps. His main passion is understanding how people make meaning, and using that understanding to make the world a more meaningful place.
Speaker #7: Tom Toumazis
Tom Toumazis MBE is focused exclusively on the digital and start-up world. He is a founder investor and Chair of three start-ups – Tagsmart, TVbeat and Fusebox Games – as well as Non-Executive Director of TheLADbible Group. Tom has worked in the media and entertainment industry since 1983, spending the first 18 years within advertising sales at ITV, Eurosport and Emap. He made the transition into TV and film programme sales, marketing and distribution in 2001 as Head of Disney-ABC-ESPN Television EMEA. In 2009 was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Endemol Worldwide, joining the main board. He was Head of Partnerships EMEA for Yahoo and prior to that, CEO of Mecom Group. Tom is also Chairman and Founder of the ChildLine Board, part of the NSPCC and a member of the charity’s National Volunteer Board. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015 for services to Children.
Psychologist, writer and innovator, Geoff Warburton has spent the last 25 years studying love, loss and trauma. His approach synthesises Eastern wisdom traditions, in-depth psychology and common sense.
Speaker #8: Rosalind Watts
Dr Rosalind Watts completed her clinical psychology training at University College London. After six years of practicing psychotherapy in the NHS, she joined a clinical trial at Imperial College, investigating psilocybin (magic mushrooms) as a treatment for depression. Her research explores patients’ positive views of this intriguing therapy.
Speaker #9: Priscilla Nagashima Boyd
Priscilla is a young technologist, passionate about innovation which will make a difference to people’s lives. Working with product management at Siemens plc, she has devoted the past two years to the research of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. With seven years of experience in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Priscilla is the Honorary Secretary for the Women in ITS (ITS UK) industry group. She is also a STEM ambassador working with schools in the South West of England and is reading for an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Oxford.
Priscilla’s talk left me speechless as up until now I had never heard of the concept of driver-less vehicles. She focused on autonomous vehicle technology and how it could impact the world were it to be applied. Benefits included, reduced congestion, increased accuracy of routing ETAs and not having to drive all through your car having an integrated WIFI system built in!
Speaker #10: David Casale
David Casale is the founder of Open4Energy, a non-for-profit energy supplier whose purpose is to raise money for charity. He is also the director of Turquoise, a merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency. His focus is on renewables and energy storage, and has argued that solar power could revolutionise the global energy market.
Speaker #11: Mannat Malhi
Mannat Malhi is a second year law student at Wadham College, Oxford University. She incorporates the quote “to define is to limit” in all aspects of her life whether it be from her quirky shoe collection to her passion for women’s rights and racial equality.
Mannat was such a powerful speaker and she opened the event with a talk on hair, which if you never thought is something that has a huge impact on her life. As a Sikh, she talked about how this had been a defining aspect throughout her life and helped give the world a wider understanding of the world.
Speaker #12: Abhishek Parajuli
Abhi is a graduate student at the University of Oxford studying the impacts of taxes and foreign aid on development. His research shows that foreign aid may hurt development by making citizens care less about corruption and explores ways of making aid spending more effective.
He has lived and worked in Nepal, India and Hong Kong before moving to the United States where he graduated as class valedictorian from Dartmouth College in 2015.
Abhi’s talk on Foreign Aid really brought third world development into perspective and helped shed light on how best to apply foreign aid in the developing nations. His speech was extremely insightful and helped challenge many misconceptions.
All in all TEDxOxford was amazing event with so much offer including a freebie goodie bag! As much as I like a freebie, I walked away with so much more knowledge and insight on the changing world we live in and this definitely broadened my perspective on life. I would recommend you to attend one of these events in your local area.
If you are interested in attending one of these events, please go to the following link and see what TEDx events are being held in your local area. I can guarantee that you won’t regret going and I say that because I’m not being paid or sponsored to 🙂
Please check out the speeches as I found them very beneficial! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics covered by the speakers listed here. Let me know what you think by commenting below. I really hope you found this as interesting as I did.
Until my next post…