The third TEDxStPeterPort attracted a record number of attendees and was live streamed in 39 countries worldwide
TEDxStPeterPort, sponsored by SURE INTERNATIONAL, took place on Friday 19 February to a packed crowd of over 300 guests at Beau Sejour theatre. The aim of the event was to inspire people on how to make Guernsey the best place to live on earth. The event which promotes “ideas worth spreading” was also live streamed for the first time, and was viewed in 39 countries worldwide, giving Guernsey an international platform to effect social change.
Seventeen international and local speakers each gave 18-minute presentations throughout the day. Topics included how to make Guernsey a finance centre for good, how Guernsey can lead the way in global healthcare as well as talks on reinventing education, happiness, overcoming depression and constructive journalism, to name but a few.
Visiting speaker and award-winning filmmaker Scott Thrift talked about the importance of being present and living in the moment, even if it might seem impossible. He said that we are used to seeing time in the same way and that creating an clock that takes a year to complete a cycle has helped him to become more present and to feel less like he lives life as a race. He said: “the point of life is to give yourself time so you live everyday like it’s your first, rather than your last”.
Local speaker Paul Chambers, the Restorative Justice Co-ordinator for Guernsey, talked about restorative practices and spoke about the uses and importance of restorative justice for a healthy community. He said: “It’s about connecting, forgiving and giving victims their lives back.” He explained his work within Guernsey prison and how cultural change which includes education and rehabilitation is key to creating healthier environments so that prisoners don’t reoffend.
David Green’s presentation did not involve any speaking at all, just short and simple slides about the power of mindfulness. A Guernsey resident, he had just come out of 300 days of silence and his book “Invisible Hand” details his story as a previously stressed out London banker and explains how meditation can help people with mental health issues.
Dr. Jack Kreindler, a physician and founder of Centre of Health and Human Performance, spoke about the use of technology in elite sport and how he has been working on adapting machine intelligence to help the sick. He explained how he has been privileged to work with Douglas Adams, who wrote Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and who has been a great inspiration and influence on him. He said he believed that Guernsey, as a small island, offered a unique test bed for this new technology. He asked whether Guernsey could solve the world’s biggest healthcare crisis and said, “Do not underestimate your own power, and that of your island!”
Erin Matlock, Founder and CEO of Brain Pages Inc., shared the ways in which nature and science helped her recover from a life changing battle with depression. Meanwhile, Vanessa King, a leading expert on the practical science of happiness, shared, ‘The 10 Keys to Happier Living’ with us. She said: “Goals are how happiness happens!”
There was also an extremely touching talk by community activist Orly Wahba from Life Inside Vest highlighting her belief that kindness is what keeps us all afloat in life. Her organisation aims to inspire kindness through the ripple effect of random acts of kindness. Local speaker Genevieve Langford, a local creative and owner of boutique hotel Ziggurat, spoke about social enterprise and the “Karma Kitchen” inspired charity events which she has been holding at her hotel to help Bridge to Calais.
Nadav Wilf, an investor in tech startups from HeroX, spoke about his company’s incentive prize platform, which enables innovation in communities through prize incentives and Santiago Siri, a tech guru and president of Democracy Earth, explored the impact of modern technology on voting and identity.
Ed Fidoe, an education advisor and reformer, talked about 21st century education and the importance of giving young people the opportunity to develop key skills. Ed said: “Real life doesn’t judge you on your first draft, it will keep sending it back until you get it right.”
Eric Avner, CEO of People’s Liberty – a philanthropic lab in Cincinnati – talked about how his organisation brings together civic-minded talent to address challenges and uncover opportunities to accelerate the positive transformation of Greater Cincinnati. People’s Liberty invests directly in individuals through funding and mentorship, creating a new, replicable model for grantmakers in other cities.
Rupert Oldridge, the UK’s most energetic beat boxer and official World Champion in 2015, got the audience on their feet to try out a bit of sound creation and enjoy a daily dose of the best medicine: laughter.
There was also a brilliant talk from a financial point of view by Justin Sykes, Managing Director of Innovest Advisory and social financing advisor, who looked at, ‘How Guernsey can become a centre for Financing for Good’.
Søren Hermansen, Director of the Energy Academy and Fossil Free Island, talked about sustainability, leadership and what Guernsey can learn from Samsø island. There was also a moving talk by founder of Embercombe, Mac Macartney, a social enterprise for a sustainable world with lots of big questions for the audience.
One of the highlights of the event was a talk from radio presenter Ollie Guillou on constructive journalism. He explained how the media needs to be impartial in addressing good and bad and how he feels passionately about giving thinkers and innovators the opportunity to have their voices heard.
He said that bad news shouldn’t dominate coverage and explained how it was good that the World’s Boldest Kindness Experiment which recently took place in Guernsey put a spotlight on kindness. He said: “it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.”
At the end of his presentation he received a standing ovation and was given the Dandelion Project’s first Shining Light in Constructive Journalism award. The beautiful custom-made award was handcrafted by local maker Pierre “Lenny” Lenfestey.
Marc Winn, one of the organisers of TEDxStPeterPort said:
“We were delighted to be able to award Ollie with this award for constructive journalism and to see how the local media are taking their role in mental heath seriously. Ollie has demonstrated that it is possible to take on both positive and negative issues in a constructive way.”
All the talks from TEDxStPeterPort will be available to watch online in the next couple of weeks at www.tedxstpeterport.com .