Things that make you go hmm…
That was the theme of 2018’s TEDxGlasgow event this year – and boy did it make us consider new perspectives…
With topics such as “Imagine if being yourself could get you killed” and “Understanding anger in an age of outrage”, we knew we were in for some deep talks that would challenge the status quo.
The speakers at this year’s event were insightful, interesting and at times hit you right in the damn feels. Our own Ash Park understood this all too well – maybe pack your tissues next time Ash because evidently big girls DO cry.
Below we share our favourite discussions and topics from the day and challenge our readers (yes, that’s you – you didn’t think we’d let you get away scot-free?) to rethink and reimagine the way we address our world and the people in it.
Want to find out more? Click each speaker’s name to be taken straight to their Twitter account.
RETHINK the way you work…
Topic: Working well in the 21st century
Speaker: Kirsty Wark
Kirsty took to the stage and asked us to think about our productivity and how we work. Kirsty believes that if we reduce working days then we’ll increase productivity.
At present, the UK’s productivity measure is poor (to say the least) despite working extremely long hours, especially when compared to other countries. Something’s obviously not working, so Kirsty believes we need to give ourselves one more day off – working four days a week instead of five. That’s music to our ears!
4 days x 8 hours = 32 hours per week
The idea of getting one more day back does sound like bliss, but Kirsty’s main question was this: what would you do with the spare day?
When TEDxGlasgow delegates were asked this question, answers varied from taking a mental health day to catching up with friends and family. What would you do with that extra day, and do you think reducing your working week to just four days would increase your productivity? Let us know what you think!
RETHINK our world and how it’s changing…
Topic: Our world is changing and so should we: a visual story to promote positive change
Speaker: Roie Galitz
Picture this – it’s 40 years from now. You’re sitting next to your grandchild reading her favourite bedtime story. Her eyes shine with delight as you tell her the tales of huge magnificent creatures who once roamed our world. To us, that’s woolly mammoths, dinosaurs and sabretooth tigers but, years from now, that could be polar bears, gorillas and rhinos (I know – it scared us too).
Roie is a wildlife photographer and has taken some spectacular pictures of animals which he fears won’t be around in the near future. Through his talk, he stressed the importance of environmental awareness; we’re still at the point where we’re able to change – seems silly not to, right?
RETHINK life as a performance and use improvisation to act out the scenes…
Topic: The improvising mindset: how every connection and interaction shapes your reality
Speaker: Philippa Waller
Our favourite quote of the day…
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. And you are a part of this performance of ‘life’ – which is not a pre-planned script, but an enormous improvised scene”.
Philippa spoke about improvisation and, since human beings evolved to improvise, that you’ve already got the power to consciously shape your life. Learning the rules of improvisation so you can “play the game” – and therefore change the game – is achievable, and sometimes necessary.
No-one in the room was prepared for the emotional and inspiring talk from Philippa, who spoke of how she tragically lost her husband but, through support from family and peers (and her cute li’l puppy!), she got through it and used improvisation to change the game. It made us rethink how we deal with the things life throws at us, rethink as improvisers, and rethink how we shape our lives.
RETHINK how we use humour…
Topic: Use humour as a tool, not a weapon
Speaker: Karen Dunbar (and the most fabulous white cowboy boots we have ever seen)
How do we use humour? Is it purely to make people laugh, or can it be used in the wrong way? Only Karen Dunbar could have us laughing and on the brink of an emotional episode in the space of 15 minutes…
Throughout her talk, Karen gave various examples and opened up about how she used humour as an outlet for unresolved issues. However, there was one instance where she went too far in her quest for a laugh. When an anonymous former fan complained about how she had treated them during one of her shows, she was made to rethink what she branded as funny.
In the end, she had to turn her life around and change her comedy to improve her life as well as those around her. She finished by thanking the anonymous person for changing her life. (By this point, we were close to running up on stage to give her a big hug!)
Humour isn’t usually seen as a way of hurting people, but Karen’s talk really made us think. They say that laughter and crying are similar – both are important mechanisms for releasing stress and tension. But let’s be honest – laughter is a lot more fun, so let’s rethink the way we use humour, and use it as a tool rather than a weapon.
RETHINK the importance of creativity
Topic: The art of the Fringe and the fringe of the art
Speaker: Shona McCarthy
This one was close to our hearts. Creatives like us wanna be adored, and Shona McCarthy did just that. Shona’s the Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and throughout her talk stressed the importance of embedding creative and cultural inclusion into every aspect of our society – from education, health and well-being to economics, skills and working methods.
The creative industries grow at twice the rate of the rest of our economy, and study after study has shown the positive impact of creativity, so why is it often overlooked? Shona challenged us to understand the benefits of art and culture in schools and everyday life so we can continue to utilise it.
Pablo Picasso summed it up perfectly when he said:
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
By now you should now be feeling motivated, inspired, and ready to consider new perspectives – just like we were after TEDxGlasgow 2018! We’ve only featured five of the 20 amazing speakers who talked at the event, so find out more on the TEDxGlasgow website.