TEDxBrum

08 June 2013

I'm sitting on the train traveling home from TEDxBrum. I've spent the day listening to some fantastic ideas about transforming the city, about inspiring and encouraging people, about making a difference where we live. I've spoken to people who are passionate about what they do, who bubble with enthusiasm talking about their job and their university courses, who have equally been inspired about what they have heard today.

Inspiring change is on the ideas behind TED, it seems idealistic, too good to be true but listening to some of the speakers today you can see how they hold that idea up and are trying to make a change where they are with the skill set they have.

One of the most interesting talks today was from a guy called Mohammed, he grew up in Birmingham living in the concrete landscape and like many of the kid in his area he grafitied the area. I was brought up thinking that this was vandalism, however I had my ideas challenged:

Graffiti is a youth expression to try and find a voice. Do we scream out to the city to say we exist? Do we express ourselves in our city? It's colour in an urban grey space, it gives something back to the city. (paraphrased in my notes)

He now works as an artist, transforming urban spaces with urban murals, but that is just an artsy way of saying grown up graffiti. He uses art to transform these urban grey areas into places of dialogue and story, something that is so often missing in our cities.

I've scribbled notes down from each of the sessions, you can have a read below:

Reflections on the city
1. Anita Bhalla: The big C.
2. Mohammed Ali: Taking over the streets
3. Justice Williams - Aspiring to inspire
4. Barbara Nice

Using the map
1. Max Little: How is science changing in the era of big data and computation?
2. Lucy Bastin: Here comes the science… but how will we know?
3. The Mistakings
4. George Cave: Soviet Cartography and the Modern Mountaineer.

From here to there
1. Polarbear
2. Alison Smith: Digital by default
3. Stuart Walker: Radical design for sustainability
4. Jamie Smith: Is there a future for teachers?

Changing directions
1. Seasick Soul
2. Wanjiku Nyachae: The change paradox
3. Jodi Ann Bickley: A letter to remind you how amazing you are

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