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TedX Glasgow

Jun 10th, 2016

Last Friday, along with 3 fellow Front Pagers, I was given the opportunity to attend the annual Glasgow TedX event at the Theatre Royal. I wasn’t really that sure what to expect, but was immediately impressed as soon as I entered the venue by the layout, the delicious looking complimentary breakfast (key to my heart) and the many volunteers eager to help. After a slight hiccup (a fire alarm set off by someone smoking in the lane – you know who you are!) the proceedings began.

The day was to feature 18 different talks on the theme ‘A Disruptive World’, which admittedly seemed a little much at first. However, I can honestly say I found the majority of them fascinating. Averaging between 5-10 minutes in length, each talk was designed to give an insight into the speaker’s thoughts on the theme, relating to their various areas of expertise or interest. I was intrigued by how differently each speaker approached the topic – from personal disruption (both the good and the bad) to political, medical disruption and more, it’s fair to say that the stage played host to some pretty impressive brainy folk.

So, in no particular order, here’s a run down of just a few of my favourite speakers and talks from the day. Firstly, Marco Plas, Head of Research at The Wonder Weeks, an organisation which focuses on researching a baby’s experience and development during the first 20 months of its life. According to his research, babies got through 10 disruptive cycles during this period, which are essentially like mini puberties. No wonder they cry so much.

Then there was Jason Leitch the National Clinical Director with the Scottish Government, talking about the ‘What Matters to Me’ initiative, which champions patients being surrounded by the things which matter most to them while in hospital. It’s comforting to know that in our hour of need, our emotional health is considered to be equally as important as our physical health.

James Lyne, Global Head of Security at Sophos did a talk on modern cyber crime – both hilarious and terrifying in equal measure. While emails of Nigerian princes stuck in space and in desperate need of your help (yes, this was actually a real scam) still circulate, the most common scams these days are much more cleverly disguised and easy to be fooled by. Scary stuff.

The amazing Anne Ellis did a wonderful talk on Charles Rennie Mackintosh, stressing that from the destruction caused by the 2014 Glasgow School of Art fire (no less heartbreaking two years on) must come innovation of design in place of a ‘Mockintosh’ rebuild. She called for designers to get their thinking caps on.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of both Ellis Watson and Laura Beveridge’s speeches (CEO of DC Thompson and development officer of Who Cares? Scotland, respectively). Ellis Watson delivered a hugely inspiring talk on personal disruption being a positive force, in that it is a driver for change, forcing you to push yourself and achieve your full potential. In a very moving speech, Laura Beveridge pushed for change in disruptive attitudes towards children in care, bringing the audience to their feet for a standing ovation. I certainly didn’t expect to be blubbering at a TedX event!

And last, but certainly not least, was legendary iconic fashion designer, Pam Hogg. I hadn’t expected her to be so nervous, but it made her all the more endearing as she gave a talk on disruption and disorder being a creative force in her life.

I look forward hearing about next year’s topic and speakers – bring on TedX 2017!

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