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Ariane de Bonvoisin - Founder and Chief Change Optimist

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TED- Part 1

So, it's only been a week since I returned from the extraordinary, fabulous TED conference [Technology, Entertainment and Design], a gathering of incredible people from all around the world who are committed to creating, executing and spreading big ideas that can change the world! Everyday I spent there was packed with terrific speakers who offered ideas to ponder. So, I am going to post a few blogs on the conference.

Did you know that every day, at least four plant species go extinct?! These are plants that could have given us new cures for diseases, that promote biodiversity in forests, etc. There's a great project called “The Billion Seed Bank” that has already stored over one billion seeds, thus acting as a global insurance policy for us, our food sources and our future. It only costs about $2,800 to keep a seed from going extinct, freezing it and maintaining its DNA. Check out the link and video to learn more.

I heard an interesting short talk on the value of a live performance vs. a recorded one, how live performances have not only maintained their values but have massively increased values compared to a CD or recording. The speaker’s conclusion was this. As consumers, we still long to be together, we long to see artists, celebrities, sporting events in person. The live revolution continues.

Later I heard some good advice from a crazy rock climber, Matthew Childs. Here are his Rules of the Rock Climbing Club, which are basically rules for life. (I haven’t done much rock climbing in my life, but I like his rules.)
1) Don’t ever give up
2) Hesitation is bad; movement is good
3) Have a plan at all times
4) Know how to rest
5) Fear Sucks
6) Opposites are a good thing
7) Strength does not equal success. Sometimes flexibility does or something else
8) Know how to let go and recover your balance

OK, now, who knows the Marshmallow Principle? Check it out. Dr Joachim de Posada did some research that shows that the number-one factor for success is the “ability to delay gratification,” i.e., self-discipline! He puts 5-year-olds in a room, gives them one marshmallow and tells them if they wait 15 minutes, they will get a second marshmallow and can then eat them both. He then leaves the room and observes the kids. A large proportion of them eat the marshmallow immediately. Some don’t. He then tracks the kids over a few years and finds overwhelming research to show that the kids who are able to find the self-discipline to delay their rewards are much more successful in life!!!! So, if things haven’t quite happened for you yet, you are on the right track. Give it some time.

A super-smart Indian man, Kamal Meattle, has identified the three plants you need to have in your home and office to “grow your own fresh air,” i.e., purify air quality and create a greener environment!
1) The Areca palm (in the living room)
2) The Mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant (in the bedroom)
3) The Money Plant, which removes any formaldehyde (in any area)
You can go to your local plant shop and ask for these. You will breathe easier, have fewer allergies, and live in a cleaner space. Let the plants do the work for you. They want to help. Kamal put them in his office in Delhi and was given the award for greenest building (called Peharpur) in Delhi.

Finally, I was introduced to MobileActive. They have developed a technology that allows people on the ground the ability to report eyewitness accounts anywhere in the world. This is an amazing platform for social change using cell-phone technology in all developing countries.

To conclude part one of my blog on TED, two statistics really blew my mind. According to the WHO about 25% of the medicines we consume worldwide are fake! And two million plastic bottles are used every FIVE MINUTES in the U. S. alone! That’s shocking. Please, if you are still drinking from plastic bottles, get a metallic water bottle and fill it up. Do the same at work. No more excuses. Set an example. Buy water bottles for your colleagues. Start small.

Check back in a few days for the next TED update.


You have convinced me on that!


Wonderful article - thank you!