Tag Archives: TED

An answer to our ills: human touch

I just watched a deeply moving TED talk on A doctor’s touch. (When instead… I should be planning an upcoming Hub Ottawa event that we’re hosting for TEDxOttawa)

My friend who passed the video on is a doctor. I’m sure she was captivated by Mr. Verghese’s approach to medicine as she’s passionate about healing and listening to patients (something often missing in the hectic and busy world of doctors).

Although I understand his talk from a patient’s point of view, I was taken by his more holistic message, which in the medical sense or not, speaks volumes for how we live our lives and how we deal with others:

  • To understand you must listen
  • To heal you must touch
  • To change a behaviour, you must connect
This video is about the human physical touch – but I’d argue that he likely ‘touched’ a great deal of people simply by the message and the methods used in his presentation.
What touched me perhaps the most was his use of history and the arts to get his message across about the health sciences.  His multi-disciplinary understanding of the world was enriching.  He explained his reasoning and his inspiration for putting his energy into the routine physical exam by sharing stories about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and historical physicians and sharing those stories through pieces of art over the years. If he had simply used charts and graphs to show why he chose to focus on the human touch, the presentation would have (obviously) lost its meaning.
I truly believe that the more we cross-sectors and see the world from different perspectives, the more we’ll know about how to ‘diagnose’ the world’s many ‘ills’. 
This was procrastination at its finest. Thanks Les for sharing:)
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how to get rid of excessive happiness…

I’ve been excessively happy over the past little while. Had a great weekend in Helsinki with friends,  booked a ticket for New York City yesterday, and just a lot of exciting things going on in life and at work.  This 🙂 has been a main stay for a while…

But, my friend helped me get rid of this.

Whoever knows me knows that I somewhat have of a phobia of numbers.

This video makes me feel ridiculously dumb.

Well, no.. it’s pretty amazing:)

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a grey saturday, enlightened

Summer in Finland seemed to come and go within a matter of two weeks – unfortunately back to the greyness of November.

Highly unproductive day (no thesis-ing as of yet…) but instead wasting time watching  TED videos. Nothing on environment, business, politics – just ones on the art of culture and story telling.

Take a look. The world is a truly fascinating place.

Especially loved the “shit knife” story from the National Geographic speaker:)

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sustainable + development + Acumen Fund + TED

Just watched another fabulous TED video and had to share…

Jacqueline Novogratz shares stories of how “patient capital” can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — to the world’s poorest.

She founded the Acumen Fund – a nonprofit that acts like a venture capital fund, investing in high risk businesses that serve a cause (high risk for other investors, but very serious in its approach to get results) in developing countries. Very interesting approach to tackling poverty…

I met Yasmina Zaidman, Acumen’s director of knowledge & communications (and writes most of the blogs over at the Acumen blog at the Net Impact Conference I went to last month. What a fantastic speaker as well.

Watch the video though, it’s great.

Moving forward (albeit painfully slowly…) on the thesis front. Wanted to bang my head against the wall more than a few times.. but that’s the joy of thesis writing, no? 😉

Anyways, this topic touches heavily on my topic so, I leave you now with questions (not just about Acumen Fund and ‘patient capital’ but just sustainable development questions in general), no answers.. something just for pondering…

  • this is ‘patient capital’ – which is needed for projects like this and doable in this case since it’s being funded by philanthropic dollars… but for everyone else who’s out there to make a buck, ventures are about growth growth growth… How can we tell people to ‘be patient’ when their investors are down their neck?
  • sustainable development – the word in and of itself is oxymoronic… sustainable (circular) and development (linear)… not the first one to point this out, just an ongoing question in my head. Annie, from the Story of Stuff is bang on “you cannot live on a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely” – at the end of the day, no one is 100% sustainable – read the No Impact blog to see how hard it is even to try
  • it seems like everyone who wants to help needs to go there (to a developing country) to understand first hand… if you don’t everyone else will tell you that you don’t understand ‘them’ – you’re less qualified to ‘help’ in that sense. What about the people who can’t get there? Plus, aren’t the environmentalists telling us to slow down on the travel? How can we make it easier to connect these two worlds virtually? Asking cause I think its about time I get myself out of the western world and see the world that the other 5 billion people see…

Well.. should probably start answering my own thesis questions…. so, back to work.

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More about food

Thought this talk was highly relevant for the post and comments about food, and it’s from my favourite website…TED of course.

In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.

He’s right… what we need is just GOOD FOOD!

And for me, that would start with some good ruisleipä (Finnish rye bread) with tomatoes and cukes…

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Business ideas worth spreading

Ok, so I’m still procrastinating with TED.

But  here’s an interesting one (not many that aren’t…) on simple designs that could save millions of childrens’ lives.

These are the kinds of ideas that need to be spread to the entrepreneurs of the world.  I’m sure that VCs can contest that there are enough ‘bad ideas’ out there.  I think that entrepreneurs often have the guts and the motivation to get something moving, but they aren’t always the best innovators and vice versa, the innovators don’t always have the market experience to push something forward.

So, business people take note: these are ideas worth capitalizing on.   

We can argue that the business people are out for money and there’s no money to be made with these low income people. But, there’s plenty of research that says otherwise (i.e. it’s the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid).

And, I hope that whoever decides to use their energy on these kind of ventures get rewarded for it.  If you can get rich while solving an actual problem, all the power to you:)

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Procrastinate with TED

You can waste hours on this fascinating and stimulating site.

This was an interesting one. But really, I’ve only seen 4 so far and every single one gets you thinking. (Which is really the whole concept of TED.)


But for now, perhaps I should get back to environmental physics…

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