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TEDxChange: The Big Picture

Posted by: Big Adam

What is your role in solving the world’s biggest problems? Climate change, global poverty, the AIDS/HIV crisis — solving these problems will demand big thinking and unprecedented international cooperation.

That’s where TEDxChange comes in. TEDxChange 2012 is a platform for sharing game-changing ideas — and the world is invited to join the conversation.

Solving big problems means seeing the big picture. This year’s theme, “The Big Picture,” goes beyond single-issue solutions and highlights the interconnectedness of today’s most pressing problems.

TEDxChange will be streamed live from Berlin on and at at 5:30 PM CEST on April 5. The program will run for 90 minutes.

The event — convened by Melinda Gates and hosted by Chris Anderson — will feature Sven Giegold, European parliamentarian and green industry advocate; Jeff Chapin, product designer for IDEO; and Theo Sowa, interim CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund — plus the amazing Senegalese singer Baaba Maal.

Nearly 200 communities in 66 countries around the world are already taking part by watching the livestream together and hosting conversations. Find an event near you.

Learn more about TEDxChange >>

Comments (5)

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  • Syed Chishti commented on Mar 30 2012

    Dear Mr. Bill and Mrs. Melinda Gates, Good luck with every amazing contribution to make that difference you are making. Waiting for your getting back to USA and our meeting is overdue. I have a very special recommendation # 4 that I want to discuss with you and Mrs. Melinda Gates in person. Best regards.

  • Pingback: TEDxChange2012 : The Big Picture | TEDxItaewon

  • Kevin Parcell commented on Mar 27 2012

    “Unprecedented international cooperation” is unprecedented for a reason. But maybe that isn’t the solution anyway.

    I think access to money is the cause of wealth and it’s lack is the cause of poverty. People and communities can develop resources most effectively with money because it is the most versatile tool, and without enough money to develop resources, poverty is the chronic condition.

    Because of competition in the global marketplace, the businesses that survive there are generally those that spend the least on sustainable practices in able to realize the highest short-term profit. It’s not only very difficult for people and communities without money to develop their resources but also to protect themselves from that irresponsible development. Looked at this way, money spent by the poor to acquire food from the global marketplace is a transfer of this vital tool to those who can realize the greatest profit using it to irresponsibly develop the resources in poor communities, further entrenching poverty and hunger.

    If this is correct, then most of our big problems are tightly linked, which I think most people believe is true, and they can’t be solved through “international cooperation” per se because the people in control of “international cooperation” need that short-term profit to maintain control.

    Our global population in 2007 consumed about 1.5 times what the Earth produced.

    In 2003 we consumed about 1.2 times what the Earth produced.

    At this arithmetic rate of increase in consumption relative to resources – 25% every four years – our ecological footprint is now about 1.9 Earths. We don’t know how accurate this extrapolation is, but we do know that we currently continually increase our rate of consumption and that the ecological capacity of our planet to regenerate is continually diminishing, and so we know that the rate of increase in our ecological footprint is accelerating, not merely increasing arithmetically. And with the affluent and the poor alike pumping money into the global marketplace, we have the fastest and most effective way to increase the irresponsible development that results in the most entrenched extreme poverty and hunger.

    Poor communities can begin to develop and protect their own local resources if they can combine the money of their inhabitants and keep that money local. One way to combine the money of the poor in their communities is to develop essential commodities in those communities and offer them at a price below that offered in the global marketplace. Of course, catch 22 is we need to combine the money first. And of course, combining the money does not keep it in the community for very long.

    One solution to this begins with changing the nature of the tool: communities can print their own money – a money only valuable locally that can be used alongside national currency in the communities. If they produce a demand for the local money by discounting the essential commodities when purchased with that money, then they can pay their inhabitants with that money to develop local essential commodities. The demand for the local money then powers local marketplace development. With this strategy, almost any community can develop local agriculture, water, sanitation, education, housing, etc – every commodity and service that can be produced entirely with local labor and local tools. The result is that money and essential commodities get to those whom need them most, and the communities have the motivation and prosperity to protect their resources.

    The catch 22 is that we need the commodities first in able to generate the demand for the local money that motivates people to work to earn it and so produce the commodities. This is why our pilot in India is beginning with generating electricity and filtering water using pedal power: The start-up cost is very low, and hundreds of millions of people there have inadequate access to affordable alternatives, including many whom have the money to purchase from our power stations using national money that we can then use to pay our workers until the demand for the local money is sufficient.