The TEDx Conference in Salford on 21st October 2012, was my first experience of TEDx offline. I’ve seen a few of the talks online but getting to see the speakers in person is something completely different. TEDx had 15 speakers in one day, for me this is quite a lot, especially with the variety of topics being discussed. The conference started at 10am and finished at 9pm, there was an awful lot to absorb but in an environment where thinking a bit differently is celebrated, I was ready for the challenge. Built on the back of the Media City buzz, TEDx salford is an opportunity to believe in the idea of bringing change for the betterment of society, an initiative that brings people together from around the area and spreading the message to the rest of the world.
For me the most inspirational talk of the day was definitely from Debra Searle MBE. She explained how she had never rowed before, yet herself and her husband decided to row from Tenerife to Barbados (3,000 miles!) in the Atlantic Rowing Challenge. After only having trained on the Thames, they were let loose across the Atlantic, which was completely different to what they were used to. Shortly into the challenge, her husband Andrew had to cut his journey short, as he had anxiety issues with the vast amounts of open water. Debra had to decide whether to continue on this epic journey alone, or leave with her husband. Despite the odds being stacked against her, she decided to continue alone. Along the way when she felt alone and down, so she kept herself going each day by thinking “What will my (positive) mood be today?”. She amazingly managed to complete the challenge on her own, despite being 3 months later than the other teams!
My overall experience of TEDx Salford was that it was entertaining and taught me a lot about how to overcome challenges. I look forward to attending the next TEDx and hearing more inspiring talks.