Rethinking the shark at TEDx Stellenbosch

Rethinking the shark at TEDx StellenboschWhile Shark Week came and went, and highly talented cartoonist Phil Watson shark cartoons, got me laughing again when he put Shark Week right into perspective with this so true cartoon (I’m a huge fan of Phil’s work!), I’ve had a crazy two weeks. I’ve gone through 2 computers: my main computer’s harddrive crashed, and then I spilt a glass of red wine right into the keyboard of my MacBook! And I burnt the kettle out while trying to make myself a cuppa tea to calm down! The good parts were the talk I gave last week with Clem Sunter, former Anglo American Chairman, and preparing for a talk I will be doing tomorrow at the first TED conference event in South Africa called TEDx, to be held in Stellenbosch.

The whole TED talks idea started in 1984 as a conference held in the USA with the aim of bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, and design but has since broadened its scope to include topics on science, business, the arts, and here’s where I come in, the global issues facing our world. Everything begins with an idea, ideas control the world but rarely are they tested openly. TED believes that for ideas to impact the world, develop into innovations, ripple through communities and spread between cities, we need to tell our stories. TED is thought of as a global community which welcomes people from every discipline and culture who have just two things in common: they seek a deeper understanding of the world, and they hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all.

TED has now created a program called TEDx, a program of South African homegrown, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The aim of this event, in particular after the World Cup, is to share exciting African concepts and export ideas rather than minerals and skilled workers. I am delighted to be one of 11 speakers who will each speak for 12 minutes, my topic, well you guessed, is about sharks, the title in support of my award winning campaign is ‘Rethink the shark’.  For those in and around Cape Town, why not join us tomorrow from 5pm at the Stellenbosch University. I hope to see you there, seats are going fast, entrance is free, so best you get on that email fast to find out more…

  1. SarahSarah08-15-2010

    Hey Lesleyl I saw you talk on Friday and must just tell you that it was the highlight of the talks for me, fantastic, beautiful messge, footage and slide show. Thanks for the work you are doing. Sarah (a fan 🙂 )

  2. TerryTerry08-16-2010

    What an awesome talk. Carefully crafted, you stuck meticulously to the time limit, which was obviously a huge challenge, given the complicated nature of your subject. To have been selected to be one of the eleven speakers at this first TEDx conference in SA is in itself a great honour and a deserved tribute to your tireless work. However, your amazing performance in front of 550 people was mind blowing. How you remembered every word of your carefully crafted speech remains a mystery and the passion with which you delivered it in complimenting your outstanding photographic footage and images puts you in a different league to many other conservationists, locally and abroad. You are a National asset and i am proud to know you and work with you.Yes, with performances like that, we can change the world.

  3. Lesley RochatLesley Rochat08-17-2010

    Dear Sarah and Terry, thank you for your kind words and support. It really goes a very long way as one is not always sure of the impact one is having. I enjoyed all the other speakers I heard, all with a powerful and strong message well delivered (albeit not too many stuck to the 12 minutes, which was tough). It was an honor to be part of the event and in sharing Africa's ideas to a world audience (once they are on Youtube). Lesley

  4. KimKim08-17-2010

    Great event and great talks, was about time we had our own TED conference – some awesome people doing awesome work, including yourself. The idea that Africa has so much to offer and is going places is very encouraging and makes me proud to be South African. Was horrified by some of the information and images you shared regarding what is happening to our sharks. As a scuba diver it is very concerning to know that our shark populations are in such grave trouble. Routing for your cause and for our sharks! Kim

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