Tony Wolski

TEDx Cardiff 2020

2020-03-05

I was fortunate enough to be invited to TEDx Cardiff 2020 on the weekend. I had never been to a TED event before, but having seen my fair share of TED talks (some of which have changed my life) I jumped at the chance to see one live.

The MCs for the day, Richard Strudwick and Neil Monteiro, were engaging, knowledgeable and funny. They were a likable pair and had great chemistry, clearly built on the foundation of a good friendship. They bounced off each other in a way that reminded me of Australian radio and television comedic pair Hamish and Andy.

The selection of talks and performances was diverse and informative. Topics ranged from solving homelessness, to cities built for people instead of cars, from the success of Wigan Council to the parity between the male and female brain. By the end of the day my head was buzzing and overwhelmed by the influx of ideas.

Although it’s hard to single out any talks, because I enjoyed them all and learned something from each, I particularly liked the talks by Jon Alexander and Jazz Austin (what a name!).

Alexanders’s talk posited, and I strongly agree, that the consumerist model we currently operate under is clearly not working, and that a shift to, what he terms, a Citizenship model — one of contribution, sharing, giving and responsibility — is starting to build momentum. These were strikingly similar ideas to a book I recently read called This Could Be Our Future, and throughout the talk I wondered whether Alexander had read it. Unfortunately he had to leave shortly after his talk so I didn’t get the opportunity to ask him in person.

I’m not sure I’ve known a speaker to smile in a talk as much as Jazz Austin, but it was refreshing and engaging. She spoke of her journey to her current position as a conservationist working for RSPB, what she does now, and how we can all help reinvigorate the environment and wildlife around us. I may just end up not worrying about the weeds in my garden as a result of listening to her talk.

The day was extremely well run from beginning to end. The set, custom built for the day, was incredible. And how brilliant it was to be told before the event to bring our own refillable water bottle…

“We are trying our utmost to reduce the environmental impact of TEDxCardiff, inline with our venue host Cardiff University. That does mean we encourage you not to drive and to bring a refillable bottle, we have lots of little ways that we’re reducing impact that are outlined below…”

Why aren’t all events run this way? Interestingly, it was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote the bullet below in my journal after attending Serverless Days Cardiff:

Zero waste events. No waste whatsoever.

I’d like to thank the TEDx team and volunteers for putting on a fantastic day. It ran like clockwork and as far as I could tell everyone really enjoyed it. I did.

And a huge thanks to Sarah for my invite!

Your thoughts? I'd love to hear them. Please get in contact.