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Posts Tagged ‘TED Talks’

Want a chimp for a pet? 10 years old Brandon says you better make one smile!

January 19, 2011 2 comments

Brandon Wood and Dr. Goodall ~ Copyright ©JGI 2010

We are so pleased to introduce 10 years old Brandon Wood — another greatly inspiring kid in our interview series!

As most 10 years old boys, Brandon has a great love for animals, but not in the way you would expect. He is passionate about saving his favorites — our closest cousins among the Great Apes — from captivity!

Back in 2009, Brandon decided he wanted a chimp as a pet. Being curios if that is possible, he decided to research and learn more about these amazing animals, but what he found out caused a change of heart — instead of getting one as a pet, he decided he wanted to help save those held in captivity!

Since then, Brandon has been successfully raising awareness about the bad conditions in which chimps held in captivity for biomedical and other research live. He continually raises money to organize adoptions and transfer for such chimps to the Save the Chimps Sanctuary using his Make a Chimp Smile blog.

Brandon recently spoke at the TEDxYouth@TampaBay conference organized on Universal Children’s Day on November 20, 2010 (see video below) and is actively engaged with people and organizations that are interested in helping these endangered species!
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Sir Ken Robinson and healthy food

December 18, 2010 1 comment

“Had I the heavens embroidered cloths, Enwrought with gold and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet; But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” ~ W.B. Yeats

“And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson

Image credit: Jamie Oliver (TED 2010)

Recently, I ran into a blog post from a middle school teacher who asked his students to explain how would they reform school. A noble idea to be commended! — you might say. That’s what I thought too, but then I saw the answers, including:

  • Better cafeteria food with real ingredients
  • A monthly educational field trip
  • iPads, netbooks or laptops in classes
  • More freedom in terms of leaving to use the restroom, eating a snack or getting a drink of water, etc.

Something feels wrong! Of course, there were some great ideas in the complete list — like more electives, feedback instead of marks, and community service once a week — but somehow the list suggested that all of the problems with the current education system can be resolved if we buy few iPads, stop making kids suffer with a full bladder till the end of the lesson and throw in a field trip or two?!

Looking at the list made me remember a lesson I learned in my career in software development — and somehow always forget and need to re-learn: Users (don’t!) always know what is best for them! Sometimes it takes someone from outside to notice what they’re doing wrong and show them alternative ways.
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Inspiring learning or learning inspiration?

November 21, 2010 11 comments

Learning to unlearn is the highest form of learning. ~ Buddhist proverb

At its very core, education is an innate expression of curiosity; a longing to understand and be part of the world; a manifestation of purpose and passion that every person carries within them. ~ Carey Elizabeth Smith, Co-Director of the Body Therapy Institute*

Image credit: IQ Matrix

I’ve been troubled lately with the question “How do we learn?” I don’t mean specifically  how kids learn in school, or how adults learn at a new job position… I’m rather curious how do we learn anything in general!
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We Will Change Everything

November 18, 2010 11 comments

In order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first!

The goal is not to turn kids into your kinds of adults, but rather better adults than you have been!

Adora Svitak, 13 years old writer, poet and humanitarian speaking to adult audience at TED 2010

Today, I’ve got a license to organize a TEDx conference closely related to the mission of World4ChildrenTEDxKids@BC! Naturally, I am very excited about it — particularly humbled by the trust the TEDx team have extended to me and the efficiency with which they processed my application!

But this is not the reason I am writing this article — there will be plenty of opportunities to do so as the event starts to take shape. The reason has to do with the world’s children!

November 20 is Universal Children’s Day — an annual event that celebrates childhood, promotes mutual understanding among children, and motivates actions that benefit the welfare of the world’s children. This year, the event will be special because the TEDx communities around the world have come together to organize simultaneous TEDxYouthDay events on this particular day in over 60 locations around the world!

Growing up in former Yugoslavia, I was always looking forward to the celebration of the Youth Day, which was happening annually on May 25. I loved the symbolics of that event — it was exciting to watch as young kids were running a relay around the country, passing a baton through numerous young hands and visiting every major city along the way!
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How I became an addict!

November 12, 2010 11 comments

Image Credit: Seed Publishers

It’s midnight on a Holiday and everyone in the home is asleep! I’ve been going back and forth between the computer and the fridge 3, maybe 4 times now. Nothing inside seems satisfying to my disturbed mind. I finally reach out to the cupboard and grab the Nutella chocolate spread. The feeling is greater than me — I greedily shove 3 big spoonfuls into my mouth!

As the sensation moves down my throat and reaches my pleasure centre in the brain, I check my email, Twitter and Facebook for the hundredth time. I’ve been doing that for the past two hours, sitting helplessly in front of the screen in a wonder what happened to the world — why there’s no one out there sending a new message for me to read?

Maybe if I tuned into one of those chatty Twitter accounts that send a barrage of messages streaming down their channel I could find something useful?! No, I needed a person to send me something interesting, not some software scheduling a large queue of tweets that mean nothing to me. I needed to be able to reply back with a witty comment or enter into a discussion over a thought-provoking question.

This is when it struck me! A shiver ran through my spine and I felt I can’t move. I don’t know if the weight of the realization caused the shaking. Or maybe the high cocoa dose in my brain activated too many senses. Whatever it was, it certainly felt gravely cold in the room! I could think only about one thing — I am an addict!
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Passion worth spreading – Fast Forward Inspiration @ TEDxUBC

October 27, 2010 6 comments

Image Credit: HNBD / Jeff Arsenault

I know self-organization is possible! After all we know that life emerged from the chemical soup that was Earth ~ 4 billions of years ago — through nothing else but self-organization at molecular level. I guess something must make this Universe inherently capable of self-organization at many levels.

But to see self-organization including people with completely different backgrounds — at any level you can imagine: from education, to skills, to profession, to culture! — come together to organize an event like TEDxUBC was a mind-boggling experience for me!

I won’t explain what TED and TEDx stand for. If you haven’t heard them before, I encourage you to check the TED and TEDx sites. It is probably worth explaining what TEDxUBC is, though!

TEDxUBC is few things! It is a quest to figure out how should secondary, post-secondary and lifelong learners be prepared for a world moving fast forward at breakneck speed? It is a conference that brings educators, business people and enthusiasts to share their ideas about transforming education. It is a movement to stir the public and various institutions into action to implement those ideas. It is a bunch of passionate people coming together to change the world in their own little way!
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I help others engage, therefore I learn!

September 15, 2010 7 comments

The premise of my previous article was that today’s world values participation above consumption and the new economy of attention selects those who engage with others and not those who focus on earning and spending money.

As I mentioned at the end of the article, though, there’s one more aspect about this view of the world that I didn’t cover. It is an aspect that I am most excited about and would like to lay it out here!

In a peculiar twist of random events converging to an unexpected outcome — which will become obvious below 😉 — after writing the article last night, today I got to watch Carne Ross, the first ever “freelance diplomat”, speaking at one of TED’s partner conferences, the Business Innovation Factory summit last year.
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