What Went Down At TEDxYaba 2017

TEDxYaba, a locally organized TED event, held it’s 2017 edition on Saturday, at the popular E-Centre, Yaba, Lagos. The event had the usual feeling/atmosphere of a TED event.

With this being the second TEDx event I was attending, my expectations were pretty high and I wasn’t disappointed. From the well-organized conference structure, to the filled hall, to the calibre of attendees, to the quality of the presentation, and yeah, it was free (though registration was compulsory).

The event unfolded with different flavors : excellent on-site speakers interspersed with mind-stimulating video presentations; a great musical presentation by Aduke; spoken word presentation by Efe Paul Azino and a call-to-action summary by the TedxYaba curator, Emmanuel Adegboye.

The event was themed : “Past, Present, Future” which can be described in one word as TIME.
Mr. Tunji Lardner of WANGONeT, one of the speakers at the event, alluded to this and described the scenario of a typical African. He explained that the even though we are in the present, there is a need to reconcile the past in dealing with the present so as to shape the future. Our past are a part of us, he explained and we have to reconcile/understand it as we deal with the present while trying to shape the future.

The speakers were filled with great words of wisdom and there was a lot to learn and oh I did jot and took notes.

Key Points To Learn From The Speakers And Presentations Are:

1. Technology is going to be a key contributor to solving challenges in Nigeria and Africa. – Omobola Johnson

2. Over time, we have allowed our narratives (in Tech and other areas) to be written by people other than us. The narrative of what happens in our country and field should be written and driven by us. To achieve this, Mrs. Omobola Johnson gave four suggestions:

— we need to build a community of communication: let’s us write about our tech evolution ourselves.
— we need to build a community of knowledge: to effectively communicate about us, we need knowledge of local content.
— we need a community of skills.
— we need a community of capital.

3. You are making an impact on people subtly and without you knowing. – Victor Asemota

4. Take ownership of your problems by creating your own solution. -Ade Balogun

5. In the world of Virtual Reality(VR), the only limitation is your imagination. -Judith Okonkwo. According to her, VR plays several roles in different fields; she explained how they plan to use VR to take education to those who can’t go to school or had to drop out.

6.Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments spoke about making impact in the littlest of places. She spoke about projects she and her team had embarked on such as the N-Power scheme, Feeding for Public Primary School students, etc.

7. TY Bello spoke about finding one’s passion and using it to make impact that matters. She told us other journey into photography and how she tells stories using beauty and nature.

8. You won’t know if a solution you’ve built will sell in the market until it gets to the market (no matter how many time you’ve done simulations). -Godwin Benson of Tuteria.

He talked about how Tuteria came to be; the failures, success, and challenges they faced.

9. Seni Sulyman, Country Director, Andela, spoke on building for the next generation. He emphasized the need to start investing in leadership and suggested the following:

— Empowering others
— Transferring skill and education
— Ensuring the next generation is better.

A major plus from the event for me was a video presentation on preparing for the future. The speaker spoke on something that I think we all need to look into: “simulating the future and start preparing for it”.
She said that many times we don’t connect with the future us; we are not planning for the future, but pieces of the future are already here and we need to start using data, tools and experiments to analyse the effects of our present actions on the future.

She spoke about several experiments she and her team had worked on from carrying an experiment on the type of deadly air we would be breathing in in the nearest future if we continue our bad waste disposal habits, to experimenting on the future of drones and a host of other things. She stressed the fact that experimenting on these things we help us better understand the impact of our actions today on the future and make us take preventive steps.

Bringing this home: how about if we started taking into consideration the how things like constant flooding, food insecurity, climate change, etc., will affect us in the nearest future? How about we start taking intentional methods to prevent such? How about we start preparing for the kind of future we want? Ponder on these.

Like I said, the program was really great and I’m glad that I was there. Thumbs up to the TedxYaba team for such a program.

Do you about TED events? Have you attended ant Tedx event before? Did you attend TedxYaba?

If yes, to any of these questions. What do you think of TEDx events? What key points did you learn from TEDxYaba?

Share them with me in the comment section.

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