Last month I spent a day at TEDxHouses of Parliament. It was another feather in the cap of the TEDx organising team. Almost all the talks were well worth giving up a day in the office for, but here are the ones that really made me sit up.
Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation spoke about the most unlikely heroes of all in the fight against human trafficking – bankers. She introduced me to the work of heroes like Martina Vandenberg, a lawyer who uses digital data as evidence to prosecute people who essentially conduct a trade in human slaves. The Foundation’s focus on Trust Law hopes to spread the word about good governance by shining a light on corrupt governments and media. It was depressing to learn that India is #4 in the list of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, but overall a powerful talk.
Alastair Macartney and what his team of ‘human flight specialists’ is doing. Seriously, watch this, it’s nuts.
Jeremy Silver on attribution and The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ which fed decades of music – so many bits in there I’d heard but just never attributed back to the original source, which Jeremy highlighted beautifully in his talk.
Baroness Onora O’Neill, so elegant in her delivery of words and yet so impactful, as she talks about trust. She mentioned how opinion polls indicate society’s trust in almost all walks of life is declining but that they do nothing to show what goes into the judgement that engenders trust. What we need is not more trust but intelligently placed trust.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of Maggie Aderin Pocock before this event but her sheer passion for science made sure that I will not forget her. I really hope she meets Richard Branson one day and gets a chance to fly Virgin Atlantic.
And finally, I was introduced to the music of British Bangladeshi singer Shapla Salique, who sang songs set to the lyrics and music of Baul mystic and saint Lalon Shah, which I really enjoyed listening to. At school growing up in India I was taught the works of poet saints like Kabir and Surdas but never Lalon, so this was an education.