Yesterday I attended TEDxBrum, and I was impressed, entertained, inspired and moved by the experience. It’s amazing what can be achieved by a dedicated, volunteer team. One of the joys of these kind of events is that, as well as hearing the story each speaker is telling, one can relate their observations, ideas and convictions to one’s own mission and imagine each speakers perspective on one’s own challenges.
Last night I had dream in which I talked at leisure with each speaker and asked each of them the same question. ‘How do I engage people in exploring a space, to provide a people-centered understanding of if and how it might best be developed? ‘
Anita Bhalla told me ‘be ambitious. Take your local exploration of Birmingham and tell the world.’
Mohammed Ali suggested that I use street art and colour to open people’s eyes to a place that has been hidden or ignored.
Justice Williams told me to engage you people for not only for their feelings and ides, but to aspire to inspire them.
Barbara Nice specified a minimum provision of tea, biscuits and a knees-up.
Max Little advised me to consult gardeners, skaters, builders, mathematicians dancers, children, artists, farmers, engineers, bee-keepers, athletes, designers, cooks, musicians and scientists.
Lucy Bastin said I should show Max a list of all professions, to see if there were any he had missed. She also told me to collect and collate my evaluation data very, very carefully.
The Mistakings sang me a song about Pirates who sailed to Birmingham and broke hearts. I think they were warning me to be wary of the canal network.
George Cave told me that those who seek the unknown, travel the world. I had to show them the unknown on their doorstep.
Polarbear advised me to involve my own children in devising creative ways to consult with the under-twelves.
Alision Smith reminded me that however space is used and developed, it should be accesible to all.
Stuart Walker and I talked for hours, but the gist was that when inviting people to dream big, I should show the enrichment that comes from the challenge of keeping the impact small.
Jamie Smith said ‘Whatever you do, make sure WiFi is available’. Stuart chipped in again ‘Solar powered.’
Seasick Soul advocated the power of performance to engage and inspire. They’d like a stage included at the event.
Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard couldn’t make it, but sent a me a message ‘A nice place can be enjoyed by visitors, a beautiful space can be loved from afar.’
Wanjiku Nyachae advised me to stand in my truth, and to inspire those around me to do the same.
Just before I woke, Jodi Ann Bickley said ‘I can’t give you any advice, you know more about your mission than anyone in the world.’
I’m grateful to all of the speakers for their contribution at TEDxBrum, and for all the advice they generously appeared in my dream to provide. If you can give me even better advice than my imagination came up with, I’m listening.
This article was originally tweeted via the hashtag #TEDxDream