TEDIndia

TEDIndia Session 6: Green and Blue

Posted by: Jenny Zurawell

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Photo: Jib Ellison at TEDIndia, Session 6, “Green and Blue,” November 6, 2009, in Mysore, India. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson

“If you want to change the world, take something powerful and nudge it,” said Chris Anderson at the dawn of Session 6. For speakers in “Green and Blue,” the environment is the object of their nudging.

Sidi Goma, comprised of Africans who settled in Gujarat, started things off with a vibrant musical and dance performance. Audience members got their groove on to the upbeat tribal rhythms. Learn more about Sidi Goma here >>

Jib Ellison is three months into his quest to discover simple innovations that will change the world. He is traveling around the globe with his family in search of sustainable innovations to bring back and share with the world. In a Nambian bazaar, his daughter discovered the perfect example — a decorative box made out of a two-liter Coca Cola bottle. All businesses need to do this in the next 10 years, he said. That is, to add value to the utility of a product as simple as a box by using material destined for waste. This approach has a low-input cost (because you are using waste materials), and therefore will be more affordable to consumers and scalable. Sustainability is a competitive advantage, but the courage to innovate is crucial. Ellison asks, “What is your box? Your contribution?” Learn more about Jib Ellison here >>

Charles Anderson is a marine biologist who has lived in the Maldives for 26 years and noticed a peculiar phenomenon: the seasonal whirlwind of dragonflies that appears just as quickly as it disappears. Dragonflies require freshwater to survive and reproduce, so why do they migrate to the Maldives, where there is no surface fresh water? The dragonflies annually travel 400 miles across the ocean from India on the upper air systems of monsoons to the Maldives, a temporary layover on the trans-oceanic trip to Africa. Their migration coincides with the end of the rain season in India and the beginning in Africa. Different species of birds concurrently make the journey on the monsoon winds — which demonstrates the interconnectedness of earth’s systems. Learn more about Charles Anderson here >>

Horst Rechelbacher founded Aveda and the new nonprofit organic cosmetics company Intelligent Nutrients. He begins with a story of how a statute of Buddha giving the middle finger reminds him to be one with everything. He believes that environmentalism is genetically inherited, and the best way to be an environmentalist is living a lifestyle of responsible consumption. Everything is based on cause and effect — the law of karma — so human beings should be mindful of the chain of consequences. Particularly, the ubiquity of toxic chemicals in daily products can have damaging effects on our health. The lips, for example, are the fastest delivery system for the body, so the toxic petrochemicals in lipstick go directly into the bloodstream. That is why he has developed an organic beauty line, including a mineral-rich lipstick that makes kissing more nutritious! Learn more about Horst Rechelbacher here >>

Alexis Ohanian is the founder of Reddit, a website that democratizes its front page by displaying content that viewers express a common interest in. He recounts the “Splashy Pants” incident, where online voters chose the name a new Greenpeace movement designed to save whales. Participants overwhelmingly voted for the silly Splashy Pants name, and despite initial reluctance by Greenpeace, the name was adopted. Ohanian warned organizations that, on the Internet, “You no longer control the message, and that’s OK.”

Jake Eberts showed a preview of the upcoming film “Oceans,” which was shot over the past 4.5 years to explore the numerous challenges that confront oceans today. TEDPrize winner Sylvia Earle is joining forces with Eberts for the film’s release.

Anupam Mishra is inspired by traditional methods of sustainability, specifically water gathering. Mishra describes the traditional water collection systems in the Golden Desert, where rainfall is minimal and ground water is 100 meters deep, and not fit for drinking anyway. For the desert’s inhabitants, water means life or death, so they continue to use traditional methods for gathering water because they are the most effective. Mishra details several other historic water collection mechanisms used throughout India, including a well that squeezes out and collects moisture hidden in the sand. Learn more about Anupam Mishra here >>

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