Monday, March 8, 2010

Topping up on Intellectual Inspiration

It was a dark, rainy morning (the tenth in a row) in Brisbane, but we were oblivious to the weather as we wheeled in the bananas and grapes for the punters to enjoy over morning tea. Today was the day we'd been excited about for quite a while. Finally, the legend that is TED, introduced to us by Morgs at Paddington's Urban Grind many years ago, had come to Brisbane.

For a few years now, Robert and I have enjoyed the inspirational talks, and the chats with fellow devotees like Adz (whose photos I've stolen for this blog) and Carl in Morgs' cafe, freely available online by In fact, TED is pretty much solely responsible for our complete abandonment of our television set. Apart from the odd BBC murder mystery series, and the occasional need to pop in a DVD for the kids, we'd have given it away long ago.

Even more exciting was the fact that Robert had been asked to line up alongside twenty or so other speakers and 'brain bursters' to tell his story and the plight of farmers in today's global industrial food system.
It was one of those days you wish could go on for a week. Where your brain is so enlivened by the subject matter and the personal stories, interspersed with urgent chatter in the breaks while our lovely friend, Morgan Daly from UrbanGrind, served the world's best coffee under the Bedouin Tent. My personal favourites were Nigel Brennan, the photo journalist who was held hostage in Somalia for a record 463 days, and Chris Sarro, the inidgenous educator whose aim it is to 'furnish the dreams' of young Aboriginal Australians.

Organised by Carl Lindgren, founder of map magazine, and his friend Paul Fairweather, these two blokes have conspired to feed the collective Brisbane enthusiasm for TED talks to bring us our own Brisbane version. It's taken them over three years since the seed of the idea took form, and we can't thank them enough for having the foresight and capturing the right sponsors to support such a wonderful concept. A totally free event, and purposefully inclusive, their aim was simple:
"We hope that we can get the community together and get them fired up and get them thinking in perhaps ways they haven't thought through some of the discussions - that people can get connected and be part of a network that can help change our community positively for the better."
Within minutes of Robert's talk the twitter activity was wild. We had to email the conversation department at Food Connect to expect a busy day on the phones on Monday. Now I call that 'fired up' Carl!
Elsie enjoying the TEDx fun - Adam Sebastien West, Zenstick Photography


  1. Thanks. Was great to catch up with you. So glad that everyone got so much out of the event and enjoyed their coffees.

  2. It was fun Morgs. Now we have to keep on Carl's back about these map dinners!

  3. Hi, I've seen some of the TED talks on Rob Hopkin's Transition Culture website. I didn't know they were in Brisbane, sounds like a great day. Cheers, Sonya

  4. It was a great day Sonya - good to get out of our comfort zone and experience inspiration at a whole new level!