In my last three blog posts I reported on the TEDxFolkestone talks without making any comments, since I wanted to encourage you to find out more about the speakers and watch the talks once available on YouTube to form your own idea. In this piece, though, I’m going to reflect on the events.
First of all, what has really impressed me is the contagious enthusiasm of speakers, organisers and volunteers; and the difference between the way some speakers appeared onstage (all looking passionate and delivering the concepts in a clear and engaging way) and the way they appeared during the Q&A sessions (fidgeting non-stop), making me appreciate even more the effort that everybody has put into this project. As for the talks, I enjoyed them all, and some inspired me more than others.
Like Catherine Durin’s talk PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF HOME. An immigrant myself, I have pushed the boundaries of what I call home many times. Grown up in the North of Italy, at 26 I left for London where I spent eight years, then moved to France and stayed there three years, went back to my own town for another four years, and six years ago I came back to the UK and settled down in Folkestone. Besides, my daughter is half Italian and half Algerian, and was born in France. So, what’s ‘home’? Like my friend Catherine stated, ‘where your heart is, that’s home.’
As a writer, Randolph Matthews’s talk BEFORE THERE ARE WORDS THERE ARE SOUND FEELINGS makes perfect sense to me. In fact, I find that sometimes the feeling conveyed by the written word is different from the one conveyed by its sound, and so reading out my pieces helps me fine tune my scenes. I don’t sing them though out of fear of upsetting my neighbours; you surely understand!
I enjoyed very much Jim Lockey’s talk THE FORGOTTEN LANGUAGE OF DRAWING. It took me back to my secondary school days, when I had drawing classes and I dreaded every single minute of them. No teacher succeeded in showing me the secrets of this mysterious art. Only my then best friend did. It’s thanks to her that I can draw lit candles and nice apples. Jim also helped me understand why I use emojis instead of words whenever I can. 😁
Emily Peasgood’s talk EMILY! DON'T DO THAT! was funny and also moving. I related to her dilemma between following her dream of implementing her ‘outrageous ‘ ideas and her longing to fit in. Her journey to be true to herself has taken Emily very far. For example, her interactive sound installation Halfway to Heaven is part of the international art event Folkestone Triennial 2017, which will take place all over the town from 2nd September-5th November 2017.
here is somebody very important that I haven’t mentioned yet.
Somebody that turned her desire of meeting like-minded business people into the successful TEDxFolkestone event: young and dynamic marketing visionary Liu Bachelor.
Last week I had the privilege to chat at length with her. She told me of her surprise at how well her idea was received, of the serious setbacks she encountered along the way, like the rejection of her first application for a TEDx licence; and of the dilemma of choosing the right speakers. Although their ideas were worth spreading, there was no guarantee that they would deliver them in a professional way.
I look forward to next year’s TEDxFolkestone event and in the meantime I would like to hear your comments on this year’s talks. Which one inspired you most? Which idea do you think can help to make a difference in the world?