This post has been a long time coming. The only reason for that is that I've been waiting for the crew at TEDxCopenhagen to finish off the videos, and today they have managed to pull off that extremely large task. The downside of this is that much of my, what would have no doubt been simple amazing, thoughts have faded, but I will try to recapture some of them here, but ultimately let you see the videos and think your own thoughts.
The day's theme was 'movement', and was a great, great success. Lærke Ullerup and Mikael Colville-Andersen (who was the host for the whole day - a disarmingly natural one at that) gave us a short welcome, after which we ploughed on with the day.
While the vast majority of the talks were inspiring, there were a few that for me really stood out. Lars AP, founder of the Fucking Flink movement was excellent. I'd actually spoken to him on the phone regarding the book that started it all a few years back, and remember thinking how passionate he sounded, and how this was clearly something so much bigger than 'just' a book. In a nutshell, it's based on the idea that if Denmark can be the happiest country in the world, maybe it can be the friendliest. Why can't we all be nicer, friendlier and kinder to anyone and everyone, from strangers in the street, to family and friends. There's a Facebook group (in Danish) dedicated to this, where people can write stories of how they've witnessed random acts of kindness, been the doer or the recipient, and whenever I read one, I hope that they inspire others to do the same. Just reach out, and do something nice - no matter how small. It's such an easy and simple thing to do, and can make such a huge difference. It's all very 'pay it forward', but I don't give a damn. It's bloody wonderful.
Claus Meyer surprised me no end with his incredibly passionate bread speech. With baking bread in the background he spoke loud and clear about the dangers of the crappy white bread we are sold in supermarkets, and about how important good food is. Again, it's a simple message; eat well, live well. Why is it so hard for the two to connect in the minds of so many? Food is so much more than filling our bellies. Its about love, passion, health and life.
Troels Petersen was superbly geeky and magnificent in discussing CERN's giant LHC accelerator, the Higgs boson and how although we can't really do much with the information they've spent so long finding, they did invent the internet along the way, and well, that's pretty cool. Passionate and heartfelt, he made something so overwhelming complex so accessible and fascinating.
Risenga Manghezi brought the spirit of Christiania into the room, and explained to us how the citizens of the small state have been forced to think creatively in order to try to save their homes. He painted a wonderful picture, and gave us a unique perspective into Christiania. I hope that if there was anyone in the room who has a negative view of the place, Risenga changed their perspective. Help Christiania by buying shares, allowing them to keep the land they live on, but not own it, there by remaining true to their principles.
Finally, Joseph Hamoud, a refugee from Syria, gave what was by far the most powerful talk. In the simplest words and expressions, he told us about how it was to be there, and how your most basic rights were simple stripped from you.
You can help raise money for the refugees here.
All told, it was a superb day, rounded off with a few beers with friends. I've no doubt that everyone left wanting to share, to pass on what they had heard and learnt. I know I did, and I'll have to keep reminding myself of that feeling because it was really rather exceptional.
It was perfectly hosted, perfectly executed, and perfectly inspiring. I truly hope we'll have the pleasure of another event soon here in Copenhagen, and if you didn't manage to get a ticket this time, play close attention next. It's worth every penny. Hats off to Lærke, Mikael and all the other staff.
Check out the brilliant visual summaries. "With a crew of 2 process illustrators and 6 visual harvesters, we created a 6 meter poster of the entire day and 4 visual synthesis’ of 4 questions answered by the 650 participants." You can also check the hashtag #tedxcopenhagen on both Twitter and Instagram for tweets and photos galore.