Even to be chosen to speak at a Ted Talks event is a great honour. The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) organisation is a 'not for profit' devoted to spreading ideas. The TEDx events are run separately with the aim of making ideas accessible and spark conversation in communities around the world.
This year’s TEDxAuckland had 16 speakers including Tame Iti and Max Cryer. But it was our own Billie Jordan who wowed the 2000 plus audience with her inspiring ‘ideas worth sharing’. In her fifteen minute talk she had three key ideas that inspired the crowd. They were:
- We need to accelerate the pace of life rather than slow down as we age if we want to live longer
- Society needs to treat senior citizens as equals and stop patronising them
- Senior citizens should have high expectations of themselves and so should society
Her achievements with the Hip Op-eration Crew showed that she not only had these big ideas but also put them into practice.
Despite the famous Hip Hop-eration documentary film of the Crew many of the younger members of the audience, it was predominantly 20-50 year olds, were not aware of the story. Her speech took them on a moving, uplifting and personal journey, a combination that had many in the audience wiping a tear from their eye, me included. She delivered the speech with warmth and humour a combination that proved irresistible.
She told me afterwards that she only really relaxed after she had ‘outed’ her parents for their abuse towards her when she was a child around a third of the way into the speech. “From that point on I felt a great weight had been lifted from me. I felt cleansed,” she said. Looking on, it was possible to detect the change.
The only other speech to receive a standing ovation was from Dr. Hong an eye doctor who has developed the technology to view the retina using an I-phone making it possible to detect eye problems cheaply. He has chosen to gift this idea to the world rather than patent it. He thoroughly deserved the applause.
If ever Billie gets tired of working I’m sure there is a whole new career waiting for her as an inspirational speaker. She certainly inspired me to keep on keeping on now that I’ve reached my golden years.
If you want to be inspired by Billie listen to her speech by following this link.