TEDx Brighton 2015 - Losing Control
TEDx (little brother of TED) has grown in popularity and launched in numerous cities across the planet.
The Brighton TEDx is now in it’s fifth year and it has established a reputation for showcasing both the best of our city and the kind of cutting edge ideas and thought leadership that TED are globally renowned for.
Brightec (that’s us) were proud sponsors of the event, a great opportunity to support the quirky, creative nature of our Brighton that TEDx embodies.
Mongolian flute beatboxing
The opening performance was dramatic and, well, quite shocking (initially at least).
A middle aged lady took centre stage, flute in hand, and proceeded to do what can frankly be best described as Mongolian flute beatboxing.
I was not impressed. Clearly this lady had lost control of her critical faculties. The performance was vastly off beat and out of tune. After a few minutes she stopped, the audience breathed a collective sigh of relief, and she picked up another instrument and continued what seemed again like a different tune.
Fortunately it was at that point the penny dropped - what at first listen was a disparate and deeply incoherent sound was rather the layering of a beautiful central melody.
Sometimes creating incredible things requires the flexibility and appearance of losing control. The performer had a deep conviction that she was building something remarkable, and like the entrepreneurial spirit we attempt to embody here at Brightec, she understands that the best things take time to form.
The first speaker again confounded expectations, as he represented the EDL.
Distinctly aware of the meaning in those letters, the English Disco Lovers chose to respond to the English Defence League in a quintessentially Brightonian way- dance.
Chris Alton, founder of the EDL (the disco version), came up with a novel strategy - topple the English Defence League in the Google search ranking so that whenever anyone searches ‘EDL’ they would find a message of peace instead of anger.
They even succeeded briefly in 2014 and became the top result after a strong SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) effort. An inspiriational and unique way to convey a new message.
The power of music
All the speakers were excellent, however two in particular profoundly stuck with me: the Wishing Well: Music in Healthcare and the Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre.
These two amazing organisations are trying to change the prevailing medical opinion that the individual's experience does not matter.
The significance of soundscape
The founders of Wishing Well realised the significance of the soundscape of a hospital ward, for children, adults and the elderly.
They observed the power that music has to transform an emotional experience, especially a stressful and/or long hospital stay for sick children and adults with dementia.
They’ve made it their mission to bring music into hospital wards.
A holistic GP Surgery
Similarly the Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre is one of the first genuinely holistic GP surgeries.
One of the founders and resident GP, Laura Andrews, became distinctly aware of the significance of individual stories in medicine.
She explained that traditional research prioritises the general outcome of a medical trial rather than looking at each individuals experience of the treatment.
So she decided to do medicine for the individual, specifically looking at their unique experience and treating them uniquely as a result.
Individual user experience
In the fascinating way that TEDx talks cross boundaries, these two stories highlight something that is fundamental to how we work at Brightec: we care about the individual user’s experience.
We are an influential, user centred technology company that strives to put the experience of the individual user at the centre of our app development.
After all, who wants to use an app that doesn’t work specifically for them?!
This article was originally written for Brightec by Tim Strange