Mensa Philippines Invade TEDxManila 2015

by Jom Sadie

Members of Mensa Philippines received invitations to the first independent TED conference in the country for the year: TEDxManila!

Armed with their business cards, smartphones and powerbanks, April Grace Santiago,  Dan Robert Caracas, Jomar Sadie, Judd Guerrero, and Reg Muñoz arrived at the halls of the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Biology located at the National Science Complex, Diliman, Quezon City, ears eager for an afternoon of TED talks.

What is TED?

TED is a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading”.  These ideas are introduced into the world in the form of short, powerful talks (20 minutes or less) usually in the spheres of Technology, Entertainment and Design.  Meanwhile, TEDXes are similar talks but where “x” stands for independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including TEDxManila, are self-organized. Such independent events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Held last January 10, 2015 lasting from 1 PM to 5 PM,  organizers of TEDxManila once again pulled all stops to bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Injecting his timeless sense of humor,  Father Xavier Alpasa, now seemingly a mainstay in TEDXes, opens the conference with his talk on  our  personal “why”s or our passions. He challenged the audience claiming that he is looking for FINE Fellows or Filipino Innovators, Nation-builders, Earth Advocates.

Prim Paypon of “Imagineering a Filipino Dream” follows strong taking on empowering the youth towards nation-building. With dream like oil paintings on his slides he discussed that the Filipino has forgotten to dream. He dare asks “How can we claim to love the country if we can’t even conjure a common dream for the Philippines? “

Karylle Yuzon revealed she’s got superpowers.  The star described how her powers of invitation help raise funds and hands for the sick children that they help thru their efforts in Child Haus.  And when that time came when she lost that drive for selflessness after witnessing one too many deaths, she told a story of how the power of invitation came full circle and brought her back.

Speaking of full circles, Sam Bloch of Communiteer, demonstrates how “community-driven aid” is the best tactic in response to natural disasters. His PowerPoint slides detailed how a relief center should be set-up: complete with facilities for rebuilding, logistics, and victim-assistance. Physical set-ups that are both affordable and sustainable. His Haiti-Center had art shops to help victims cope and mobile tool-lending units to help residents rebuild their homes. When Tacloban experienced a similar calamity,  Sam traveled to the country to help by replicating his Haiti center, only this time, he even received funding from Haiti Communiteers.

Taken by Cars posed the question “Did technology kill the musician?” and answered it by comparing the pros and cons of advancements in technology. Piracy versus sharing. Complacency versus cost efficiency. Organic versus Democratize Opportunities. They concluded their talk by playing the quite apt “This is our city” using only  a six-dollar Garage Band app.

“The best form of charity is to make yourself obsolete ” says Illac Diaz,  father of One Liter of Light which aims to light the world one (plastic)  bottle at a time. His open source designs are testament to the idea that solutions need not be expensive or inaccessible so long as volunteers are willing to teach.

Individual videos of this Talks are available online for viewing and sharing. Spread the word.

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