TEDxDunedin once again has produced a chance to participate in conversations with significant people from within the community of Dunedin. These people are making a difference in the communities they live and to the world beyond.
Three local Dunedin people presented very interesting topics.
Professor John Tagg
Professor John Tagg, microbiologist and founder of Blis Technologies, discussed how we are more microbe than human and that we depend on these microbes to protect and help us survive.
As a boy Prof Tagg had a strep infection that lead to rheumatic fever and as a result was on antibiotics for ten years. This lead him on a search to find a better solution to dealing with streptococcus infections.
He discovered that there are good streptococcus and bad ones and that if you encourage the good ones the protect the body against the bad ones.
This lead to the foundation of Blis Technologies a Dunedin based biotech company producing products full of the good bacteria to fight strep infections to bad breath.
Pip Laufiso – Educator – The Epistemology of Reciprocity
The presentation from Pip was warm, friendly and a challenge for all of us to give back to the community.
The presentation was built around her late mother Eti, using the initial of her name to enhance the importance of reciprocity.
E = Education
T = Tenacity – Having the audacity to carry things through, dedication to build a vision.
I = Interdependence – linked to values and culture, giving back.
O le ala i le pule, le tautau
The pathway to leadership is through service (a Samoan saying)
“To serve other, your family is to learn how to accept and carry responsibility. ”
She shared again the axiom “there is no ‘I’ in team”; “There is always a way”; the expectation of ourselves to be ready when others need our help; and to hold on to faith.
Pip gave a truly heart warming presentation with a clear message to get involved.
Francisca Griffin – Naturopath – Weed Medicine
“Weeds are plants in the wrong places” or are they, they could be the plants we need, our medicine our natural healers.
Francisca gave an enlightening talk on how common “weeds” can be used for both food and for therapeutic remedies. Four example were given
- Calendula– Colouring rice, spicy, and for burns
- Chickweed – Good for sunburn or nappy rash
- Yellow Dock – for removing splinters (an example was given how it helped to remove a slither of glass )
- Stinging Nettle – High in iron, and used as a remedy for many ailment in history
The challenge facing the use of herbs and plants in naturopathic remedies is competing with high budget pharmaceutical companies and the presumption that they have the control of the scientific community. Yet we need to remember for thousands of years these plants have been used successfully to treat people. and that many pharmaceuticals are based on making synthetic versions of naturally occurring chemicals.
- The questions that I have about this is how do I know what plants “weeds” are good to eat or use in remedies?
- How safe are they?
- Do I now have an excuse to never weed the garden again?
TED and TEDxDunedin provide an chance to be exposed to new ideas to be challenged to think and widen your world view.
We are surrounded by amazing people who all have a passionate story to tell… if only we would listen.
If you get a chance to go to a TED event GO.
A reflection on the first TEDxDunedin event held December 4, 2009.
The thought processes I find myself having when attending events like this, seem to wander from what the speakers are actually saying to the implications of what they are saying. I found the process of the TEDxDunedin event to be a dialogue rather than just speakers talking to a crowd. This dialogue is more about a meeting of minds rather than sharing of words.
Some bullet points from the night…
Phil Osbourne (University of Otago) “The Power of Free”
- “Customers happy with value don’t complain about the price.”
- “What are you going to do when your competitors go free/style?”
- Most important “The future is not about business as usual”
Matt Ayres (Polson Higgs)
- “What happens when your model of service is under threat?”
- “Your most valuable asset for the future is your insight into the problem your organisation exists to fix”
- “The future is inside the people you serve”
- “Fundamental for all organizations… it is about serving people better”
Jason Leong (The Distiller/Pocketsmith)
Growing up great, this was about the thought that business start ups are like “orphans” and that a model of incubation where a group of start up businesses are in an environment where they “Contribute – Collaborate – Share” is important.
Daniel Belton (Good Company Arts)
Daniels presentation was of interest to me as the video of dance that he showed caused me to think about the convergence of two seemingly opposite views, the rigid and the fluid.
The rigid and the fluid need each other to work in harmony; in fact one without the other is structure without life or chaos. As Itay Talgam has said in another TED video “You need process and content to make good music” Process is the structure, whether in business or other activity, and content is what makes it “human” or alive.
A quote from Daniel “[it is] Important that we don’t just “look” but we “see”.”
There was also a video from a neurological specialist talking about her experience when she had a stroke, describing the differences between left and right hemisphere thinking, the left hemisphere being structural the right being experiential. The encouragement from the speaker (Jill Bolte-Taylor)1. was to spend more time on the right hemisphere to spend more time in the metaphysical and creative side.
This video matched well with all the people presenting tonight as the only way to move on is to change the way we think, and to do that we need to be creative in all areas of life and business.
To achieve great new things we cannot do what has already been done.
The world is changing around us whether we like it or not. How we respond to change will determine how we will cope and how we will fit in the future.
Please check out the TEDxDunedin site.
This was a great event and look forward to continuing the dialogue.
Paul S Allen
1. The video by Jill Bolte-Taylor