Yesterday was the inaugural TEDXRhodesU and what an event! The day was one of motivation and inspiration on all levels! Whether science, teaching, tech, start-ups or even poetry is your thing, there was something for you at this event. The best bit was that even the subjects that aren’t usually my bag were presented in such unique ways and by such excellent speakers that you couldn’t help but be interested in them all! Considering this was the very first such event at Rhodes, special mention must be made of Tyron Louw and the organising committee who not only put together an inspiring and entertaining programme but made sure that the it went off without a hitch…amazing! Thank you for doing such an incredible job and allowing me to be a part of what was a life-changing day for so many people.
The day was also one that reminded me of why I believe in Africa, because if sitting in a room not only full of inspiring speakers, but also the professional organising committee and, best of all, the engaged and intelligent audience like I had the privilege to do yesterday does not make you believe in Africa then I’m not sure anything will! We heard about how South Africa is leading the way in terms of astronomy globally, to the point where at present over 360 individuals and 22 institutions currently want to make use of our MeerKAT telescope (Prof. Justin Jonas). Mark Horner showed us how he’s broadening access to textbooks through volunteer written open textbooks (i.e. with no copyright restrictions). We learnt about the difference between knowing, being and doing voluntarism, how these are different and what the impact of each could be (Corinne Knowles). I could go on and on as there was so much said and done that was worthy of mention. As soon as the links for these talks are made available I will share them.
I spoke about ‘The Tea Stop that taught me to listen’ which focused on the lessons learnt while starting a successful business with 2 Ngong (Kenya) community members. I will upload the entire transcript of my speech tomorrow. TEDxRhodesU also motivated me to finally get back to this blog. My intention was always to update it at least weekly but then things got complicated. I’ll explain more about that in my next week so for now I’ll just end with a thanks to TEDxRhodesU for motivating me to get back on track…
Me in action at TEDXRhodesU – last speaker of the day (12 August 2012)