A TEDx Action Plan

Thanks to everyone who came along to TEDx Auckland 2013 last weekend. It was a huge day for everyone and a triumph for speakers, organisers and other partners. Five days later the buzz is fading a bit but hopefully you are still feeling inspired.

Increasingly TEDx and TED events are being seen as ideas festivals where the platform allows for ideas worth spreading to connect and engage an audience of motivated and curious attendees.

NZ String Quartet with Dr Richard NunnsOn the day there are any number of new (and old) ideas and anecdotes to tell the stories of those involved.

While there are often well known speakers on the stage its the ideas that are the star and the TEDx process seeks to highlight and amplify untold stories; often from speakers you may not have heard of.

It is easy to listen to the speakers and ideas and the 18 minute format means most ideas are a taster only but excellent for further exploration.

What I was thinking about on the day and since then is action plans and what if we look at some of the talks as real life hacks.

How many of the TEDxAKL ( or any TEDx event for that matter) ideas can and will make a change to our daily lives over the next few weeks and months ?

Ideas without action only go so far. Action without direction is is less useful that actions that change things and lives around us for the better.

Many years ago I worked for a management consulting firm (ironically called Direction) and I remember the owners key question was always – what is the call to action here.. what is the action bias? and what actions will we and the clients do to effect changes that really work.

An event like TEDxAuckland has value on many levels and translating that energy and those ideas into action is something that we can all do.

I had a look at each speaker and talk to see what I might do differently going forward and here are some ideas. You can make up your own list but it would be great to hear back what you do and and how that goes.

  1. Ask for help. Personally I believe I can do almost anything and so it is hard for me to recognise when help is needed. Jimi Hunts talk was inspiring on a number of levels. Depression is not so unusual and it has a huge and mostly hidden impact on many.
  2. Widen your musical tastes. Having Richard Nunns, Waimihi Hotere, The New Zealand String Quartet and KIng Kapisi with Teremoana Rapley in a sequence of musical vignettes showed once again how exploration and diversity in music is good for everyone. Maybe the action here is change your radio station to something else or buy some music you might not like but you will take a chance on.
  3. Pete Russell of Ooby got me thinking about supply chains for food.  For the past couple of years I have been buying fresh veges from the farmers markets near me and growing tomatoes and chilis in the summer. I have also worked on a coffee project and so I am keen to see food suppliers (coffee is a food group:) get paid better for what they do as well as having fresher and more local food.
  4. Grace Taylors poems prompted the first standing ovation of the day. Poetry is a neglected artform and we can all go to see Rising Voices or some other spoken word in our community. Poetry is a very personal way of gaining a window on the worlds of people and I’m so pleased it got recognised on Saturday.
  5. Look at the view. I mean really look at it. Joseph Michaels time sequence images showed the subtlety of small changes in the landscapes around us.  In the cities we don’t stop often enough to watch a sunset or a sunrise so lets do more of that and get out into the country when we can.
  6. Food as a force for change. Robert Oliver impressed me with his stories of how changing the menu  and the food supply chain can help so many people get healthy and live better. I’d like to see his Polynesian restaurant get off the ground and so I will be following up on this one.
  7. Brains keep developing was a key idea I got from Richard Faull. Keep thinking and working the brain and look after it. In practical terms I like a glass of wine or a gin but I have scaled back to go easy on the brain cells and that is a good idea anyway.
  8. Reframing everything. Brian Sweeneys talk reminded me that having 1m+ kiwis living offshore is more of an advantage than a brain drain.  We can and should reframe our stories to develop our culture and smart ideas to the max.
  9. Robyn Paterson showed us how a personal story can also be the story of a nation. We can make life better in Zimbabwe (or other places) if we want to help and are sensitive and insightful when we do.
  10. Acting local is the big idea that I took from Dale Williams. I was very much inspired by the stories of how they tackled youth unemployment in their town. All very practical but at the back of that was a top group of adults who really do care about their children and the youth of the town.

This list is just a starter but without specific actions good ideas and intentions remain just that. I like to be part of the change in my world and TEDx Auckland 2013 has given me some more energy to do more.

What does your TEDx action plan look like?