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Hannah Brencher believes in the power of pen and paper, and has started a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, that encourages strangers to exchange love letters. This is a lovely idea and Hannah is a beautiful writer and storyteller.

In a fast-paced world, it is nice to see old-fashioned ideas coming back and how people are embracing them. There is nothing nicer than receiving something in the mail other than bills and junk.

Also the week Hannah gave her talk was a life-changing one for her as she says “I was offered a freelance position that allowed me to leave my full-time job. So I gave my TED Talk, and then I walked into my office Monday morning and quit. It was a transformational weekend.”

tedx
After having gotten hooked on TED Talks on the Internet, I was thrilled to hear TEDx Dublin 2014 was being held in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on the 13th September. For those not familiar with TED Talks, TED is a nonprofit devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

TEDx are independently organised local events that happen all around the world. TEDx Dublin is organised by the Science Gallery at Trinity College and 2014 was their eighth such event. It was sold-out weeks before and the theatre was packed with around 2,000 people.

The event included 13 speakers over six hours. During the day, we heard about life on Mars, the power of solar disinfection, the social impact of language, the encouragement of women in politics, designers helping fix everyday problems to make a difference, the Irish prison service, homophobia, the effect people are having on our environment, the change in libraries as well as the invasion of jellyfish!

My favourite speakers were David Puttman, Kevin Gildea and John Lonergan. Lord David Puttman, film producer and public policymaker, challenged us to get angry about climate change and realise we all have a duty of care to the next generation. Kevin Gildea, award winning writer, comedian, and actor, made us laugh about the language of nothing. John Lonergan, the retired Governor of Mountjoy Prison, got the biggest standing ovation of the day as he spoke about the Irish Prison Service and the poverty trap. The day was truly inspirational and enjoyable as well as being educational. It made us question the landscape of the future.

voyage-of-discovery
Image taken from Language Lens.


I love this TED talk from Shawn Achor entitled ‘The happy secret to better work’. It will make you LOL as well as sending a powerful message. In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. I love his story about Amy the Unicorn. It is proven that training our brains can have significant benefits for our lives.

How do we do this?
To create lasting positive change, it is recommended to do the following five things for 21 days in a row:
– List 3 new Gratitudes every day
– Journaling one positive event that happened during the day
– Exercise
– Meditation
– Random Acts of Kindness – Write one positive e-mail to someone in your social network

Imagine if everyone did this how much better the world would be! Let’s start a happiness revolution!


One of the things I love is to listen to TED talks – some of the most inspirational people share their stories and one of these is Sarah Kay, queen of the Spoken Word. She is from New York and discovered a love for poetry and performance at the tender age of fourteen. The Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village was her classroom. She founded Project Voice where she inspires young people to express themselves through poetry. Her poems are open, honest and simply beautiful. Women like Sarah are excellent role models.

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