Tag Archives: TedXChange

[Liveblog] Roger Thurow #TEDxChange

Ethiopia 2003 – the first famine of 21st century. – My eureka moment.

Looking into the eyes of someone dying of hunger becomes a disease of the soul. – a WFP officer.

In southern Ethiopia – We drove to the hunger zones in southern Ethiopia. People kept alive by international organizations.

Hunger in the 21st century . I saw wrongs and injustices I hadn’t noticed before. Why was hunger starting after bumper crops in Ethiopia? Why was it happening still at the dawn of the 21st century?

Outrage and inspire. Outrage that we had brought hunger with us into the 21st century. Inspire that ending hunger can be the singular achievement of our age.

We have long known the way, but we couldn’t muster the will.

This moment of great disruption went far beyond my personal impact.

[Liveblog] HALIMA HIMA #TEDxChange

I would ask myself every day:

Did I give lately of what I hold dearest. 

“Never cease searching for education,” her grandmother would tell her.

Her grandmother said education is a harmonious combination of knowledge, humility and purpose.

I grew up in a small town in Northern Niger. My mother, who never graduated from high school, would often say no dinner until you finish your lessons.

The only time I felt bitterness in her voice is when she talked about how much she had finished her studies.

My father was the type of person who would make you feel really bad about not trying hard enough.

It was guided by hopes of my mother and resilience from my father that I became more acquainted with the realities of girls my age in rural areas. We faced threats, yet when we engaged in communities it became clear to me that we had to bring together people who would not sit together.

If we are really to create meaningful discourse in a community we had to bring everyone together.

Only 1 in 4 girls completed primary school. I wondered why and I asked myself what can I do to make a difference.

Yet it was only 7 years later that I realized that the fate of my country rested on the fate of these girls.

Upon traveling to New Mexico.

“Never forget where you come from and stay true to yourself,” her grandmother told her.

My mother told me to be courageous. My father told me be like the camel, but don’t anyone treat you like one.

I learned change often starts with an individual.

Challenges are no longer an excuse. Instead they are an opportunity to look for alternatives.

Two out of three people in poverty are women in rural areas in Niger.

You cannot invest in an individual. You cannot invest in a group and expect that to be enough for a girl. You have to invest in social allies. She would need support, more than just mentoring.

In talking with a women in Niger, she asked,

What she hoped for the future:

I wish I had a second chance, but truly I do not hope much for myself at least. But I can assure my daughter will go to school and remain in school longer than I did.

Despite my fears I accepted today because I hope that girls who grow up in places that don’t even appear on the world map will dream and achieve.

Q & A with Melinda Gates

How do we get those voices out there?

Answer: It is really important to listen to the communities at the beginning. We need to be there at stage minus 1, in fact.



[Liveblog] CATHLEEN KAVENY – #TEDXChange 2013

We are all called to be good Samaritans.

They think that the Roman Catholic tradition, to which I belong, hardens people’s hearts against sexually transmitted diseases.

The most positively disruptive words in the Bible.

Mary proclaims God’s special concern:

“God has shown great strength with his arm. He has brought down the powerful with his arm.

Over the centuries many bishops and theologians have put these words in spiritual terms and has no relevance to our earthly lives.

What would happen if we take Mary’s word for the here and now? We would have a biblical mandate for positive disruption.

Positive disruption – better patterns. 

When we challenge ourselves and our communities to recognize each human being as in the likeness of God.

Martin Luther King Jr positively disrupted Jim Crow laws with Civil Rights Movement.

To loving our neighbor as Jesus loved us.

Even today we can find examples of Catholics disrupting their communities. 

All Africa Conference – Sister to Sister. In March 2002 and number of African theologians met at Yale Divinity School to discuss HIV and its impact on the continent.

The American nuns do not see themselves as proposing an agenda. Their goal is to facilitate and to support the wise response of the African sisters to their own problem.

One American nun said,

“These women are so strong, but they have no resources and patriarchy is alive and well in their traditions.

In 2010 – Pop Benedict XVI – assumption of moral responsibility of male prostitute to use a condom in sexual encounters.

Q & A with Melinda Gates

Elevating women’s voices: It’s a challenge. Women in the West have a responsibility to reach out to members of the hierarchy.

We are going to be judged by how we treat other people.




Liveblogging #TEDxChange Today at 12 PM EST

Today I will liveblog TEDxChange from 12 PM – 1:30 PM EST (9 AM – 10:30 AM PST). You can follow all of my liveblog posts here at mombloggersforsocialgood.com/tag/tedxchange. Also, you can follow my twitter updates at @socialoodmoms and follow the entire conversation at #TEDxChange.

The theme of TEDxChange this year is positive disruption. You can see the six speakers here who range from a communications specialist who fosters social change to a NIgerian youth poet to a former foreign correspondent who now writes about poverty and global hunger.

You can watch a live stream of TEDxChange at TEDxChange.org starting at 12 PM EST/ 9 AM EST.

[youtube http://youtu.be/dAfxbibPoGE]
Also follow @gatesfoundation for live posts as well as posts from other TEDxChange livebloggers.

[tweet https://twitter.com/J_Schiff/status/319183996397441028] [tweet https://twitter.com/maryslosson/status/319177863213510657] [tweet https://twitter.com/disgeneration/status/319149575648706562] [tweet https://twitter.com/lisarussellfilm/status/319185370040369152]

The Importance of Family Planning, an Issue Brought to Light at TEDxChange

Yesterday scores of people around the world took part in the live streamed TEDxChange event that was held in Berlin as well as the robust online conversation that took place throughout. I was fortunate to be invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be in Berlin to cover the talks. It was a remarkable evening, to be sure. Several talks were given last night, but one in particular, struck a chord with me and so many others. It was Melinda Gates’ talk about the importance of family planning and access to contraception for women in developing countries.

Why is this important?

More than 200 million women in developing countries who want to use contraceptives don’t have access to it according to the United Nations Population Fund and Guttmacher Institute.

Family planning and access to contraception reduces the amount of maternal and child deaths. In fact, according to Melinda Gates’ talk “every year, 100,000 women who don’t want to be pregnant die in childbirth and about 600,000 women who don’t want to be pregnant give birth to a baby who dies in her first month of life.”

Per the United Nations Population Fund, the use of contraception can significantly decrease the 75 million unintended pregnancies and 20 million unsafe abortions that occur every year worldwide. Unintended pregnancies lead to more than one in three maternal deaths and one in four infant deaths worldwide according to the Guttmacher Institute.

That is a lot of data, but it’s data worth knowing.

Giving birth in developing countries is a critical issue. Delivering a baby for millions of women around the world is literally a life and death situation. Most women in developing nations don’t have the money to deliver their babies in hospitals and when those who do have enough money for hospital care the hospitals typically have little supplies and knowledge to deal with life-threatening conditions like hemorrhaging. Imagine if a woman delivers a baby, barely survives hemorrhaging, and then four months later is pregnant again. This scenario for women happens all of the time and can be a death sentence to them or their baby.

One of Melinda Gates’ contentions is that throughout her travels around the world women everywhere want more access to contraception but oftentimes it is not available when they need it. Gates is up to the task of providing contraception to women who need it and is looking toward new technologies that can make access to contraceptives even more available.  New technologies might mean one can get the injection every five months instead of every three, for example. In a question and answer session with the media before TEDxChange Melinda Gates mentioned she is dedicating the next 30 years of her life to this issue to ensure that women who want contraception have access to it.

Gates, however, does not harbor unrealistic expectations that providing contraception the world over will be a cake walk. In fact, in speaking with Gary Darmstadt, the Director of Family Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we learned that some men in various cultures feel they can control women more who are not using contraceptives. That means in order to provide more contraceptive choice and options for women families and communities must all take part and make change – that includes men, religious leaders, and women working in tandem.

Gates also understands that some will hear “family planning” and immediately shut off. Some shut off because they believe family planning is a controversial issue, when this is really an issue about women and their children living or dying. The Gates Foundation and TED have created a community site that allows women to share their stories about contraception to help erase the notion that family planning and contraception is controversial. Visit How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life? or nocontroversy.tedxchange.org to take part.