TEDxALC 2016 brought together thought leaders from various industries including government, education, science and technology as well as social justice to share ideas that break average thinking. Here are some of the memorable quotes from the conference.
“The big barriers you see when you start to chase your dream are imaginary” – Khurram Masood
Khurram Masood has always had an interest in education. His mother started a montessori in Bangalore when he was 10 and although he didn’t exactly agree with how she run it, he was proud of her work. Fast forward almost two decades later where he finds himself leaving a well-paying career in consulting to join ALU, a start up with the vision to develop the next generation of leaders through education. His friends and family were against the decision but he followed his passion and today he leads a team of ambitious young people who are dedicated to the development of the African continent.
Our world is in crises, how can love can provide a solution? – Anneloes Smitsman
Anneloes Smitsman believes that love is a strong solution to the problems of our world in crises. She encourages us to ask three questions about being a vector of love: 1) What do I reach from? What is my point of origin? 2) How far can I reach inside and outside myself? 3) What am I reaching for?
Introducing STEMA: Science, Maths, Engineering, Technology and the Arts – Avinash Meetoo
Following the current trend of the skills needed for jobs and the automation of different industries, Avinash Meetoo believes robots are the way of the future. He therefore says that the creative arts will thrive because people will have time on their hands and will be able to create things that entertain. In addition to the creative arts, there will be a high demand for jobs that call for computer science. Meetoo advocates for the creation of STEMA – Science, Maths, Engineering, Maths and the Arts, a field that will develop computer scientists who are artistic.
Why great leaders fail – Her Excellency Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib-Fakim spoke about the challenge of sustaining leadership. She focused on listening, learning and applying what you hear and pushing your team in order to motivate them. “Considering your legacy gives you a compass to help you move with purpose and determination even in the most uncertain times,” she said.
Real feminism from bra burning to bridge building – Professor Roshni Mooneeram
Professor Mooneram acknowledges that technology has given a boost to the fourth wave of the feminist movement. She also acknowledges that it has caused some fragmentation at the same time and therefore is advocating for a fourth wave that centers on bridge building. She says, “21st century feminism involves investing ourselves in the most daring dreams like past feminism has done. The glass ceilings will not smash by themselves if we keep silent. It is when we engage in meaningful action that we act as catalysts.”
“Remember everyday how courageous you are” – Lisl Foss
Lisl Foss left the life she had comfortably built in South Africa and moved to Mauritius to contribute to ALU’s audacious dream of developing the next generation of leaders for the continent. She spoke about the disruptive nature of relocation and the various emotions that come with it. She said, “never compare you new life with your world back home. Spend time everyday doing something you love and don’t compromise to fit in, being yourself will attract like minded people to you.
Why the world should embrace design thinking – Alex Mativo
Alex Mativo has always been in love with design but he didn’t get the chance to play around in the field until after the 2008 post election violence in his home country, Kenya. Disappointed in his government’s response to the violence, Mativo decided to do something for his community. He got a couple of friends together and converted bullet shells into necklaces. This was the start of his initiative e-lab which turns electronic waste into fashion pieces.
People, interviews, practice and letting go: lessons on entrepreneurship – Fred Swaniker
In his talk, ALU Founder, Fred Swaniker shared four lessons he has learnt about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. He said:
- The real secret to your success is not your idea or your funding but the people you surround yourself with. People are far more important.
- Never trust interviews when you hire someone. Base your hiring on a task that is similar to what they will do on the job.
- Start young and get a lot of practice if you want to be an entrepreneur. Don’t dismiss the “small” projects that you do today
- If you want something to get really big, give it away. People want to co-create with you. Empower them and give them a chance to run with your vision.