Viewing the world through the kaleidoscope lens of Tedx LBS 2015

Catherine Aylward, Media Group Manager, attended the TEDx LBS event recently.


A few weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the kaleidoscope of lectures that was the Tedx London Business School event at the Royal Geographic Society.  Their aim, as with all Ted events was to bring together a collection of inspirational speakers to engage the attendees to see the world from a different perspective and to challenge our thinking.  The speakers came from all walks of life, ranging from ex city analysts, to tech entrepreneurs, to South London ex-gang leader.   There were some clear themes to the day: looking at the opportunities within our data, how we can turn negatives into positives and how creativity can help us to see the world in a new way.

Opportunities in our data

Within the opportunities to expand our uses of data, Edwina Dunn talked about how Dunnhumby revolutionised storytelling with the customer data from nine stores initially to demonstrate how they could understand that everyone wants something different.   By tailoring messaging to individual behaviour they could encourage each person to do more of what they were already doing – rather than purely targeting big spenders to spend more.   This helped to move every single customer up the loyalty ladder, whether that was one more visit or one more item, moving Tesco from the number three position in the market to number one.

Robert Diamond from RAC Data Services encouraged us to love our data and to see ourselves as a complete digital human with a digital heartbeat.   When our data is viewed in this way it can then be seen as a complete picture of ourselves which has the potential for companies to understand us better and then adapt their products or services to us.   For example car insurance companies being able to see our GPS data from our mobile phones to know that we’re not out on the road at 3am, or only driving short distances a few times a week.   They can then adapt the pricing for us rather than for an average person who looks like us and lives in our area.   This does of course rely on companies being able to share our data, and that’s where not only the industry would need to change, but also changes in legislation.

Turning negatives into positives for the next generation

Gareth Cliff talked about Africa’s new voice and freedom of expression which has come from the Internet.   He described the Internet in Africa as ‘the new town square… where anyone, anywhere with anything to say now has somewhere to say it if they have access to the Internet’.   This is changing the way people are telling stories and enabling them to take control across the continent.   A huge change in empowerment by using a mobile phone and Social networks.

Karl Lokko talked about his past as a South London Gang leader before the 2011 riots and his current life as a community champion and ambassador of Kids Company.   He talked about gang culture like an addiction which needs compassion and rehabilitation to leave behind.   By helping young people to see that there can be a different life for themselves, and by being their authentic voice in the community talking to local and central government he is turning past negative experiences into positives in an inspiring and eloquent way.

Seeing the world in a different way through creativity

The final speaker I’m going to highlight – or more accurately I should say performer – was Melissa Reiner who demonstrated the power of music.   She encouraging us to listen perceptively as she demonstrated so beautifully on her violin, changing the pace and minor to major keys to change the mood of a piece of music (as I don’t have Melissa’s violin I’ll demonstrate with this link instead).   All very interesting when setting the tone for brands in advertising and shopping environments to set the mood.

All incredibly inspiring people, sharing their passions with the world.   There are more talks on the Tedx LBS site if you’d like more inspiration.


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