Rough notes from opening day of TED Global in Oxford, UK

Conference theme is ….”and now for the good news”

Session 1: Global power
Joseph Nye-Smart Power

2 big trends in power:
Shift from West to East

Diffusion of power from state to private citizens

Power is ability to influence another’s behavior so that they do what you
want them to do. This is achieved through 3 ways:

Threats (co-ercion)
Desire ( soft power)

Traditionally, power was defined in military terms, but it’s not enough any
more given the rise in the diffusion of power from the state to private
citizens and across borders.

A new narrative is needed, not whose army wins but whose story wins.

Current narrative is a alll about the rise of China and the decline of the

The Narrative/ Metaphor of imminent Decline of America is cyclical- it’s a
lot more psychology than reality.

Eg Goldman sachs forecast that China’s economy will surpass USA by 2027,
but projections oversimplify.
Three problems:
It’s linear and reality isn’t
It doesn’t measure per capital economic welfare
It’s one- dimensional, ignores soft power and views of other Asian
countries of a rising China

It matters a lot. If you believe in decline and base your policies on
belief not on fact, you can get it very wrong.

Beliefs based on fear create an over-reaction. The greatest thing to fear
is fear itself. ( Rooseveldt)

Distribution of power
– needs to be more distributed like a 3 dimensional chess board
-Collaboration the only way to solve complex problems like global climate
issues- a positive sum outcome – your gain is my gain, not a zero sum of I
win you lose.

Hard power ( military) remains important but needs to be blended with soft
power to create Smart Power

In dealing with these great power shifts, the good news is we can do it.

Talk 2: Sheryl Wudunn Half the Sky

Central moral challenge of this century is gender inequality and

60 -100 million females missing from the world’s population. They are
aborted, 50% of girls die from malnutrition.

Girls are not the problem, they are the solution- to poverty, to war, to
economic prosperity

If you are not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you’re not
going to get close to the top ten countries of the world- Bill Gates

Trafficking in women

Maternal mortality 1/7 dies in childbirth, 1/20 have injuries. Story of
Mahabubu moved from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle

Story: Syma, Lahore Pakistan Beaten by husband, couldn’t produce a son, got
a micro loan of $35, today employs 35 women as well as her husband


Larry Summers, World Bank: the highest ROI in the developing world is in
girls education.

Story: Uganda girl, family recipient of a goat, goat produced enough milk
to be sold, enabled her to get education, she was first girl in her village
to graduate fromschool & won a scholarship, then graduated from university
of Connecticut.

Why should you care?

Research shows that once our limited material needs are taken care of, few
things can elevate our happiness. One of these things is contributing to a
cause greater than yourself.

If you have won the lottery of life, how do you discharge your
responsibility to help other win the lottery too?

Talk 3: Naïf Al – Mutawa, a clinical psychologist who lectures on the
biological basis of behaviour in New York

( my favourite- cant do it justice here but recommend you watch it on, he git a standing ovation)

Arab superheroes and intercultural icons

Batman & Superman, Spiderman

Biblical archetypes , All are missing their parents spiderman, batman

The 99 concepts – a new narrative for the 99 principles of the koran
leverages the same idea to create Arab superheroes 99 heroes in 99
different countries

The 99 noor stones
The stone choses you

Stones have mechanisms for self updating ( updating the narrative of the
Koran for modern times)

99 stones work in 3’s
The 99 vision has attracted world class and spreading an idea

99 comics, 99 village.


Parallel between bending a crucifix into a swastika,

Talk 4: Nic Marks- Statistician at New Economics Forum, a happiness

Happiness does not have to cost the earth

I have a dream that the future will not be a nightmare eg movie The Road,
eg environmental issues pedalling fear, freezing our beviour and making us
run away from the problem.

Environmental movement must grow up

Our national accounting system measures only production as a measure of
national welfare

Kennedy deconstructed GNP which measures everything except that which makes
life worthwhile

Let’s redefine our national accounting indexes that doesn’t just measure
how much stuff we have

See The happy planet Costa Rica is happiest place on earth

We need positive feedback loops

5 ways to wellbeing


Be active

Take notice

Keep learning


I know there are challenges ahead, leaders must, like Martin Luther King,
must go to the mountain top and see the promised land, bring that vision
back to people

Talk 5: Patrick Chappatte newspaper political cartoonist

He mostly talked to his hilarious slides of his cartoons, unable to capture
that in notes. Was good!

See some of his work as activist cartoonist to choose not to perpetuate
hate at YouTube/kenyatoons


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s