I was so excited last March when I found out that there was TEDxFortBonifacio, and was very lucky to have signed up successfully.  The speakers were very inspiring, and it actually made me think about organizing a separate TEDx event.  That’s still in my dreams.  Yesterday, I got an email invite from the organizers for another event scheduled for today at Fully Booked.  Such short notice, but there was no way I wasn’t going.

The theme for the event was Collaboration: Synergy in Diversity.   We started with a TED video with Chris Anderson talking about Innovation.  He talked about how the internet, or videos in particular, enabled ‘crowd accelerated innovation’.   You can view the video here:

Most of the speakers had very interesting, and inspiring stories to tell.

Matt Cua, or Squirrel as he is fondly called by friends, is the CEO of Sky Eye, a company of 7 individuals, mostly engineers, with different backgrounds but the same dream of becoming the leader in UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles).  And in the process, they want to put the Philippines in the intellectual property map of the world.  Their UAV’s, armed with cameras, can help map areas that haven’t been mapped yet, or give you a glimpse of your projects even if you’re far away.  What I’m excited most about is the potential for speeding up relief effort by knowing which areas are more affected, where victims are stranded, etc.  According to Matt, they made the leap after Ondoy.  Imagine if we already had UAVs at that time, it would have been easier to look for and check up on the stranded victims even if all communication lines were down.  They are still working on their products, and I am really excited for them.

Candy Reyes is the founder of Pedala Bike Messengers, a courier service that makes use of bikes instead of motorcycles or other vehicles.   The main purpose of her company is to promote the use of bikes, as she is an avid cyclist.   Because Pedala is more cost-effective AND does not add to pollution, more and more companies are getting them for their courier needs.

Jojo Gutierrez is the founder of the UP Padyak Project, a bike-sharing project which aimed to promote the use of bikes within the UP Diliman campus.   From a few bicycles, they now have a full fleet, and have since replaced old bikes with new ones.  The older bikes were then donated to a community in Roxas City, Capiz.

Alaine Antonio is the founder of My Smart Hands Asia, which aims to teach sign language to hearing kids.  The group observed that hearing children’s language development increased from the use of sign.   Though she has background on special education, she entered this world because of her nephew, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  When she visited the family in the US, her nephew communicated with her through simple sign language.

Faye Ferrer is an advocate of phasing out mercury from the health care industry.  Mercury is such a normal part of our lives when it has no business to be – at least that’s what I picked up from her.  At the end of her talk, she even gave away single-use clinical thermometers, which is an alternative to mercury-filled thermometers.

One thing these inspiring people had in common – PASSION.  They are all passionate about something.  Not only are they working on what they are passionate about, they have become advocates.  Good passion that leads to advocacy is something that the Philippines should have more of.  Imagine if more people just cared about the things that matter – education, the environment, fighting poverty, caring for children – and really did things for these causes and spread the word to many.  Think viral video levels translated into action.  Just, wow.

The next TEDx event here will be TEDxWomen in December 9-10.  There will be a live streaming of the event in Washington, and they are also planning to invite inspiring Filipinas to give talks.   Can’t wait for that!

One Response to TEDxFortBonifacio

  1. EJ says:

    Good day,

    I am a follower of TED. But I just learned this year that there is already TED in the Philippines. I missed a lot i think. I would just want to know the upcoming schedule of the next sessions this 2012. Thank you.

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