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 TED.com. 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!