The Best of 2012 TEDxWarsaw (2)

Best in TED Style
Best in complying to the TED cookie cutter is a tie between Tom Bieling and Renata Mieńkowski-Norkiene.

TB presented lucidly how his sci-fi glove can bridge the communication gap between deaf and blind, and mainstream society. He’s exploring ideas to apply the glove in the wider community. Perhaps planting it in a Bond or Borne flick would give the glove a leg up. Recently, on Myth Buster, they showed that it’s impossible to have a shouting matching when free-falling from a plane (super heros do that a lot). TB’s glove might solve that noise issue during the few precious but crucial seconds.

RMN’s highly entertaining speech also deserves a mention under the Best for Feel Good category (see part 1 of this post). It’s also about the good the EU is doing behind the scene. The EU reps are like the bomb squad (without commando paddings) swopping into crisis situations to defuse heated spats. They disarm the points of contentions by transforming Conflicts of Data (and two other types of conflicts) into a manageable Conflict of Interests. Why a Conflict of Interests is an easier nut to crack isn’t apparent to me. She mined TED data for TED preferred words.  Who would have guessed that a wishy-washy “etc” is high in TED points?

Best Personal Journey
This one goes to Anna Lichota’s journey of gazillion steps up and down seven mountains. If AL had a theme song, would it be “Climb Every Mountain”? She said people have asked her why. Why go up all these mountains, from Kilimanjaro to Everest? My question for her is how?

Extreme nature in high places, she said, is a school of hard knocks. Each peak handed her the blueprints of basic values, from perseverance to humility. She left her ego on Mt. Everest. So, the next time you’re in that neck of wilderness, don’t retrieve the egos littered all over the place; their owners have abandoned them on purpose.

My how question is: how do you walk the talk after returning to sea level? We all have moments of clarity. A colleague’s premature death from a skiing accident reminds us to live and love like there’s no tomorrow, carpe diem and all that, for who knows when the reaper would cut short the lease of life. But in the course of the daily grind, our composure is rattled by Conflicts of Data, Conflicts of Interest, Structural Conflicts, Who Moved My ciasto drożdżowe?, traffic jams, queues, your son bringing home a D for Polish, bringing home the bacon, etc. We slip back to the old ways of rush, anxiety, self-doubting and me-first modes. How do you stop yourself from sliding back to the pre-programs? Egoism is a chronic, not acute, condition. How do you keep it nailed to the mountain top? How do you stop the residual malicious cells from multiplying again? How do you sustain your Zen state of mind? Do you need to climb another mountain for a refresher on the lessons learnt?

Best “What was the Point?”
Jamie Keddie lost me. I am sure he had a message but it was lost in the delivery. Why did he squander precious TEDx show time to explain the social media driven lifestyle to an audience that live and breathe FB, twitter, et al. and for whom youtube is ancient? I don’t think I’ll find out.

Related post: Best of 2012 TEDxWarsaw (1).


About kitfchung

Experienced food and travel journalist based in Warsaw, Poland.
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