The global mindset
When Ideas get connected..
This month we want to lift the curtain to take a look at the mindset of TEDx organizing.
Between the 20th and 22nd of May, we had the opportunity to host the TEDxWeekend, an event for TEDx organizers around the world to assemble in one place to share experiences and advice. Picture this – a whole bunch of people from all walks of life, different ages, nationalities, occupations, and – even within the TEDx community – completing entirely different tasks in their teams. And yet, in the end, those people are all connected in their mission to spread ideas worth sharing. So what does it take to do so?
Pellegrino Riccardi : Cross cultural communication
The first component is obvious, but not one to be underestimated. While everyone at the meeting speaks English, all participants are still from a different culture, which is a significant boundary to effective communication.
Pellegrino Riccardi takes a humouristic and yet profound look at the challenges of international interaction and how they can evolve from a hindrance to a benefit, once you stop looking at other people from an outside perspective and instead look at yourself and everyone from an inside perspective
“Cross borders isn’t cross borders, it’s about extending your borders and creating new ones around us”
– Pellegrino Riccardi
He believes that we’re all doing the same thing in slightly different languages and that curiosity is the key to translating what’s accepted and familiar to the individual – resulting in a cherry-picked collection of all the best qualities of every involved culture, merged into a global mindset.
Ken Blanchard : Collaboration
Okay, so we covered the form of talking to other people, but what about the substance of that discussion? The entire concept of the TEDxWEEKEND not only counts on but relies on effective collaboration so people who want to reach the same goal can actually work together to help each other get there.
Ken Blanchard gives an anecdotal overview on some of the qualities it takes to successfully collaborate with other creators, because as so often with the simple and obviously advantageous concepts, you don’t really learn from someone telling you that teamwork is good – everyone knows by now that, as he puts it, no one of us is as smart as all of us. It’s the subtle nuances of his experience in full context that inspire you to collaborate
“If you want to continue to grow and develop: reach out to other people, work with other people, learn from other people, and love other people.”
– Ken Blanchard
It’s the shared vision and having individual, specific plans to get there, that make the TEDx collaboration so effective. And that is where the concept of throwing so many people with different skill sets together, which might seem like a disconnect at first, turns out to be so helpful because that is exactly where collaboration is the most interesting and fruitful.
Cormac Russel : Sustainable Community development
In hindsight – after attending the event, it is safe to say that the collaboration was more than insightful. But it was about more than just exchanging wisdom – what it actually was about is building a community. A community of inspiration, of education and development, that is dedicated to not only informing but also connecting with local communities, as well as building a global network of helpful minds, that can stand together in solving all the problems they might face.
Cormac Russel sees a shadow-side in the human impulse to help:
“When we do change for people they experience it as violence. But when people do change for themselves they experience it as liberation.”
– Rosabeth Moss Kanter
His strategy for this complex problem is strikingly simple, and yet both unintuitive at first and amazingly constructive when you think about it: Focusing on what is strong in a person or community, instead of what is wrong. In his eyes, problems should not be solved from the outside, but redefined from the inside, and in doing so inviting every individual to use their specific strengths to address the problems they’re facing.
That leaves us with a stirring summary of the relationship between helper and helped:
There is no them and us. There is only us.