For this latest spin-off of the popular by-invitation-only main TED talks, this one known as a TEDxChange, Melinda Gates hosted a talk given in Seattle and webcast online on positive disruption – on challenging time-worn assumptions, prompting creative solutions to entrenched problems and inspiring even the most disenfranchised to recognize their personal power.
Speakers included a clever young poet from Nigeria, a theologian who claimed it was progress for the Catholic Church to officially consider the possibility that condoms are not immoral, a social media expert who claimed social media is changing the world, journalist Roger Thurow (an expert on hunger and agriculture in Africa) and an inspiring young woman Melinda met on a trip to Niger.
Like most TED talks, it was fun with a lot of broad and encouraging statements without too many complicating details. The webcast itself was ‘negatively disrupted’ (lots of jokes on Twitter about this) when the TED live stream dropped just as Melinda was making her opening statements. It was restored minutes later.
Of all the featured speakers, there may be no better examples of positive disruptors than 14-year-old Sikha Patra and 15-year-old Salim Shekh, along with their revolutionary Bengali community activist and mentor Amlan Ganguly. Salim and Sikha spoke with Melinda at the event. I talked with them earlier. Continue reading