Talking is something we could do a lot more of – and do better. I mean actually sharing an opinion, (ideally backed up by some facts and knowledge) and prompting a response – whether that response echoes the sentiments you’ve put forward or presents a counter point or two.
A TED Talk isn’t exactly a traditional conversation. The two (or multiple) participants aren’t sitting across a table from each other. But if we’re hopeful to effect positive change in the world, I would say a TED Talk stands a better chance than a passive “like” or a posted comment on someone else’s blog. It might just make us think.
That’s the point: in participating in the TEDxCherryCreek Climate Countdown, we were asked to flesh out an idea worth sharing. This ask happened to come during a time where the world had retreated to our home offices (kitchen counter in my case) thanks to COVID-19, so sharing before a live audience wasn’t possible. But the ideas were supposed to stimulate thought, start conversations among those who view the videos and – ideally – make a difference.
We all have ideas worth spreading, but how often do we actually take the time to refine them? To sit with them, mull them over, perhaps change our thoughts on how best to express them? In an era where it’s so easy to jump into a conversation led by emotion and guided by first impressions, preparing for a TEDx Talk was such a welcome, stimulating, challenging change of pace.
My idea worth spreading was a call to action to citizens of the developed-world (i.e. wealthy countries) to work on their relationships with water. The challenge was to take something as universal as water and to make it personal – what can YOU do to avert (or at least mitigate) looming global water crises in the face of climate change, population growth and demographic shifts?
My greatest hope is that I’ve started a conversation – or better yet, lots of them. Not between me and the viewer of my TED Talk, but between each viewer and their friends, families, colleagues… Would it be too obvious to say I’m hoping for a ripple effect? Well, that would be great. The ideal ripple effect would be to get lots of people talking… not just clicking “like” or reacting by emoji – but really talking about water. As with any relationship worth saving, after all, communication is key.