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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.

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