Positive disruption at TEDxChange 2013 [Event Report]

On April 3 Melinda Gates hosted the 2013 edition of TEDxChange from the Gates Foundation in Seattle.

This year it was all about positive disruption, a vital catalyst for change that will pave the way for true progress in the global community and the challenges we all face in health and development. Positive disruption is about inspiring ideas that go beyond the light bulb moment. TEDxAmsterdam organized a TEDxChange satellite event in Pakhuis de Zwijger, livestreaming the event from Seattle followed by a local program moderated by Marcia Luyten.

This event report is written by Jeanette Bisschops, who’s an event producer at Das Magazin. Follow Jeanette on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Investing in girls
Halimatou Hima is a masters in Public Policy candidate at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Halimatou’s poetic talk addresses her own path, growing up in Niger and she challenges us to think differently about rural communities in developing countries. It unsettles her thoroughly that here only 4 out of 10 girls complete their primary school.

Youth Poet
David Fasanya is a Nigerian-American performance artist and award-winning youth poet residing in Brooklyn, NY. David insists posting on Facebook about poverty can and does do something, that awareness is important in a community that perhaps needs less status updates about food, and more about being an engaged global citizen.

Shifts in agriculture
Roger Thurow joined the Chicago Council in January 2010 after three decades at the Wall Street Journal. For 20 years, he was a foreign correspondent based in Europe and Africa. Roger shares with us his own moment of positive disruption. When covering a brutal famine in Ethiopia he felt obligated to get engaged and transform from journalist to ‘factivist’ – a term he borrowed from Bono.

Revolutionary Optimists
Salim Shekh and Sikha Patra talk about the film they are starring in; Revolutionary Optimists. The film documents how they help make India a polio free country by using smart phones to track the children who have received vaccines and who haven’t.

Social Change
Julie Dixon is the Deputy Director of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC), an academic initiative that examines the critical role of communication in fostering engagement in social change. Julie talks on how, with a click of a mouse, without money, you can influence someones life.

Open space
As the international part of the evening ended fifteen entrepreneurs from fifteen interesting projects took part in our ‘Open Space’ in which the audience could share their ideas and expertise with the entrepreneurs, to get every project to the next level. More about these projects can be found on www.voordewereldvanmorgen.nl

Dutch TED Talks
As the evening continued, we had the pleasure of listening to two Dutch talks by Onno Schellekens, managing director of the PharmAccess Foundation, and Martine Bouman, entertainment education expert.

When a state does not function correctly, how do people in that state gain access to medical care and supplies? PharmAccess wants to improve access to quality health care in Africa. By mobilizing public and private resources they offer low-income groups a subsidized health insurance.

Martine Bouman shared with us the importance of the use of entertainment media when wanting to reach large numbers of people. Accomplishing the Millennium Goals, she says, can become a whole lot easier when entertainment media -such as TV shows- is used to educate people around the world. Scriptwriters are already working together with medical advisers for cross-medial productions, to ensure that the shows they produce have surplus value, not only entertaining their audience but at the same time educating them.

Interactive discussion
The evening came to a close with a panel discussion featuring Trix van Hoof, Mariette van Huijstee, Bas Verhoef and Mark Vernooij. In this discussion the panel talks about how they feel about partnerships between public and private sectors, differing in opinion on several statements such as ‘ The marketing of other people’s misery is highly inappropriate’ and ‘ With public- private partnerships the mutual concerns weigh higher than the concerns of the NGO’ .

Using the app Sendsteps the audience got highly involved by voting via their phones to make their opinion heard, no need to raise hands anymore! New connections were made, hearts were inspired and the seed of positive change has been planted in the city of Amsterdam!