TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. Over the last few years, each week on a Tuesday a member from the team has picked a TED Talk and published it. Our TED Talk Tuesdays allow the CN&CO team to play their part on spreading ideas and helping to make the world a better place. Check out a few of the other TED Talk Tuesday picks HERE. Our TED Circles get togethers build on this love for TED, conversations and people. Here’s a wrap-up of our latest TED Circle Hosted by CN&CO.

The August edition was our sixth get together since we started this journey in March 2020. The months have flown by and the hour that we have with each other once month to share ideas and learn from others is 60 minutes that contribute immensely to my thinking.

As I sat down to write this recap of the session, I was drawn to a saying from Ntombi Langa-Royds.

“Stop. Think. Act.”

Three words that while they may be interpreted differently by everyone who reads them, carry a timely reminder to be thoughtful in the way that we navigate things and make decisions.

The theme for TED Circles this month was “How Change Happens”. An apt point for discussion and one that led to many interesting discussion points for the hour that we had together. The conversations ranged from Burning Man Principles, to questions about how we learn, experiences in Africa, opportunities, and a thought provoking question that challenged us to consider if we have learnt anything from the global pandemic.

I chose a talk from Naomi Klein, a journalist and an activist. The title of the talk is “How shocking events can spark positive change”.

In her talk Naomi raises many points for us to ponder and think deeply about the type of action that needs to be taken to correct some of the decisions that were taken in the past, that are now influencing our lives today.

Our get togethers are conversational in nature as the goal is to use this platform as a space where we can learn from those around us. Sharing ideas and expanding our thinking.

Here are a couple of the questions, points and ideas that were shared.

  • What is change? Does it scare you? And where should we start?
  • Why do some events inspire longstanding action and change while other big moments seem to fade without the same impact?
  • Can you name any economic, social or other crises that have occurred in South Africa?
  • How have shocking events in your personal life helped you to evolve?
  • Do we understand how rich and diverse Africa is? We have a wealth of knowledge, perhaps we should look to learn from each other instead of always thinking that we need to get the answers/solutions from development countries in Europe or America.
  • Life on earth is interconnected – we can learn from understanding symbiotic relationships and ecosystems.
  • Can history help us? What can we learn from the past and those who have navigated tricky times before us?
  • Naomi uses the term “explosive imagination”. Encouraging us to imagine a better future, do we know what this is? What is your idea of a better future?
  • Do you agree with Naomi’s framework – Shock. Wake-up Call. Leap?
  • How Innovation Works – a book written by Matt Ridley that explores the difference between invention and innovation. How do contextual factors influence innovation and what are some of the biggest problems that have been solved throughout history using collaboration?
  • Have the lessons that we have learnt so far from dealing with COVID-19 actually taught us anything or do you think we will go back to “life as it was” just a few months ago?
  • Do you think it is true that as humans we only learn how much we valued something when we have it taken away from us?

Here are two other Talks selected by the TED Cirlces crew for the month of August.

How Whistle Blower Shape History

The crisis of leadership and a new way forward

The TED Cirlces community continues to grow, small groups that engage in conversations about ideas to make the world a better place.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and while the way we have rushed back to a “normal” life as hard lock downs around the world are eased does concern me. I am hopeful that some thinking has shifted and that our awareness of broken systems will start to drive change. We sure do have a journey ahead of us and it is up to us all to drive change, using new business models and systems, so that we can help make the world a better place.

See you next month.

Read about our previous TED Circles here.