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TEDxDubai - Paul Bennett - 10/10/09

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Change through participation, imagine if you could make that happen. Paul Bennett, our next speaker is going to give us that. Applause Marhaba Okay, this is incredibly humbling to be standing here in front of you all let me just get rid of the hand because it's going to bug me and its going to bug you as well This was my first view of you all 48 hours ago, coming into Dubai from the window of my plane And, I want to start with an anecdote about flying. I read a brilliant article in a magazine a few years ago and a pilot was interviewed and they said to him "how does a plane stay in the air?" and he said -it was a brilliant, very profound answer- he said "it's got nothing to do with mechanics, it's got nothing to do with hydraulics, it's not a mechanical issue he said "a plane stays in the air because everybody in the plane believes that it can" (laughter and applause) and he said "flying is nothing but the collective suspension of disbelief" which i thought was genius and he said usually somebody in business class is sitting there going "how does this thing stays up here?" and it goes (sound effect and laughter) so I talk to you today about the idea of, in a very turbulent times that we're all living in, of re-suspending our belief and one of the themes that im very excited to talk about is the idea of optimism. because i think optimism is what we all need. i think that design is a fundamentally optimistic profession and i want us all, and i mean all of us as designers in this room to start to talk about what we do, how we design the future together, and how we do that optimistically. so thats what i like to talk to you about this morning. and i hope you will bare with my somewhat stumbling Arabic translation, but i wanted absolutely no body to be exempt from this conversation so we sacrificed, designed to make sure that this was a truly bilingual presentation. so, Victor Hugo said: "there's nothing like a Dream to create the future" so lets talk about dreaming this is the theme of the conference and lets talk about the future as I said, i mean i want the other guys who said as well im much more interested what you do with this presentation or with all the stuff you kind of absorb over the next few hours than what i do I'm really excited so far, i've been here a few days i've had massive amounts of really exhilarating conversations and i think thats the point of this, to have exhilarating conversations and for you guys over to you on Monday morning to take this stuff and start using it. This is not about outsiders like me coming and giving you some kind of lame answer this is about people holding up a mirror and say here some questions lets all answer them together so, I'm very... actually that's what this is for, isn't it? that's what this does. Design is a verb. It's not some sort of thing that's applied to objects Design is a verb. And I sort of like this idea that design is the action that occurs between dreaming and being so you have dreams out here, very blue sky and you have the real world. and what design does is it brings those two things together. its a series of actions and intentions that bring together dreaming and being so i'm going to show you some more examples, hopefully some inspiring examples of some stuff that we've done but more importantly some stuff that other people have done that we find inspiring and see what you guys think so as i said, i hate people that come into some other culture stand on stage and say here I am i've got the answer, i have no clue what the answer is Im just here to listen, and to hopefully hold up a mirror and ask some questions and then lets all answer these things together so we're just here to sort of listen, learn, ask, facilitate, and meet. and I hope thats what that says So, by the way myself and my colleagues have taken all these images ourselves so there's no crappy stock photography from some thing either because, again that felt very unauthentic so we've taken all these pictures ourselves with our Iphones and our cameras just to give you our own impressions of what we see through our eyes so we believe that design is about change that's why we're here anybody this as a mirrored camel is not a big idea btw, I thought that this is absolutely brilliant, loved the mirrored camel, absolutely awesome we believe that designers are optimists, I fundamentally believe in optimism. It is a very powerful tool in business and in life therefore, im talking to everybody here as designers and we believe about impact. we believe that design is about impact and therefore, talking about the impact of a room full of designers creating change but if a mouthful, but that's what i believe we're in the process of doing here so, we're all designers thinking. let's talk about what we do this is Ideo, the company I work for and design thinking. the first example is one i've shown before, its one sort of classic, it was on my last TED talk, but its still in a nutshell sort of the best example it was my first personal example of getting into this kind of thinking does any body here work for Mckenzie ? -Silence- good, ok -laughter- because im going to say really mean things about them, sorry so we were hired by these guys in minnesota memorial healthcare to help them design the patient experience and they have spent an enormous amount of money with Mckenzie trying to figure this out and recieved i think 749 pages that looked like this or looked like this and they asked us two questions is this good ? and what do we do with it ? so we went back a few weeks later and presented this, so we created a 7 and a half minute film that we played completely staight faced and didnt explain what it was ... of this. -silence- and the president of the hospital wasn't terribly happy and said, "how dare you, what on earth is this" and this is Christian Simsarian who worked on the Ideo and this is what we did we were a natural patient in the hospital which is what most of people actually forget to do is to sort of remember the human being and we lay on the bed with a camera and we taped the roof because people forget that that's the point..right so, i was lucky enough to speak in parliament in the UK, and i showed this example and i sort of said to the parliament are you actually rememebering to lie on the hospital bed of the UK and are you looking at the ceiling because so many organizations forget the person and they design it from the organization in and not from the human being out so as we Brits will describe the blinding glimpse of the bleeding obvious is in many cases what we do so, there it is. so what we did with this, which again im not going to stand here on stage at a conference that has design in it and say Oh My God this is amazing design, it isnt but with .. this is a horrible crappy picture I apologize but with nurses and patients and doctors and us, we got together and we designed some tiny things that can be done tomorrow to make the patient's experience better so this is a tiny bicycle mirror that's glued onto a piece of cardboard that's taped onto the gurney so that when you're being wheeled around you can have a conversation with somebody as if it was a rearview mirror so that they can check that you are not dead -Laughter- which was kind of a big idea. the nurses -bless them- decided to decorate the ceiling because if you're going to spend all day starring at it it might as well be cute. one of the patients had this idea that it will be really nice if his room over here looked like a room and not like the hospital corridor, so a change of floor meant that you are leaving common space and coming into his space very simple psychological transition but a very powerfull one if you're laying in the room not in the corridor and then finally my last idea where my favorite bit of this is you know when you break your arm and somebody writes on the cast on the plaster im sorry you break your arm we put white boards in like from our offices in the hospital room so if you were asleep your kid can come into your room and go here mommy and bla bla bla and do a picture and im sorry you're not well so again, not amazing examples of design obviously, but amazing examples of human empathy and thats much more interesting to me that design anyway so, you guys, you've all seen our brainstorming jazz going on outside and on Facebook so before i came, as i said i didnt want to stand here and sort of tell you anything that was part of some big big theory so we just put this on Facebook, we're coming to talk at TED. whats your dream ? and so we got a bunch of stuff, and i've just got some more from 5 minutes outside that im going to read you so you know it is as you imagine contradictory intelligent and lovely conversation and one just the beginning on some quiet contradictory things you know Dubai is the opportunity to be the central hub for innovation and knowledge, that's fantastic my dream of Dubai is that it develops into a cultural bridge, my dream for dubai is the population to find some other than consumerism that's a theme we heard many times can it be the place for creative people to come, live, and be inspired to create art and not only to work love this .. "we love to learn finding out, we learn to love finding out more than knowing Aysha are you here ? awesome .. (stubble snaps) to you, brilliant oh who's he. umm, that we move beyond scale into substance, and thats again a part of this conversation, its a sort of co-creation conversation that everybody can be here so somebody came this morning and posted notes, whats your dream for Dubai? that we make it happen now that it becomes the creative capital of the world that we develop people and not just property this is an Arabic one which i had translated. " the cleanest environment ever" another one in Arabic " Human before place " and finally, "open source Dubai" last one " education for everyone" so again, not pretending to have an answer, but you know the conversations begining, we're all here doing it let's continue with that stuff so you know, what we're going to do, i think whats rising to the question oh sorry whats rising to the surface is one big question and this is it you know, how will countries be designed in the future ? will they be designed around happiness for example like Bhutan who have gross national happiness which through they measure everything will they be designed around contribution if you look at what Estonia is doing, Estonia has gone out and want to be the culture of contribution will be around umm you know some quality of life like Switzerland is doing will it be around innovation like Denmark we're actually talking to Denmark about helping them become an innovation country as we've been hearing all morning, will it be around the new things of modes of governance like things like Facebook which are interconnected and interdependent and most importantly, i love this picture btw .. will they be designed for us or will they be designed by us ? and thats i think a very important point for people in this room, we are the designers, lots of heads nodding, thats a good sign im very hopeful that the answer is yes to all of those questions,that its not one versus the other, that its all of them that Dubai becomes sort of becomes an amalgam of the best of all of these things I actually am pleasantly surprised and very excited i think it's very optimistic i keep using this word it was on radio the other day and I said it just feels like the land of optimism here .. its very brave, and its very big, and its very brave i dont think that's necessarily bad You know, many cities that waste their most limited resources, but you know, Dubai was the first city to ask the following question What could we achieve by bringing the world's best brands, technologies designes, and talent gather in one place ? and so as a result of that you've got amazing sort of benchmarks for luxury, for service, for infrastructure, for economic growth but one could argue that these can be surpassed to the global market, but i actually firmly believe that and this is my kind of big point you have created here one resource that is absolutely impossible to annotate which is that dreaming is big here. Dreaming is big business. i said some of you guys are professional strength dreamers and i think that's an opportunity here where that sense of opportunity is absolutely endless and i would encourage you to take that by the (horns) and run with it and I think (coupled) with resident talent that's an extremely powerfull idea and what can you do with it loving, loving the Wild Peeta guys, the Wild Peeta guys are here right? where are they? yaay, there you are. loving them, loving them, brilliant -Applause- a great example they're going to be talking later about re-inventing, is it the Shawarma? .. sorry if I said that wrong, I probably did inventing, fantastically re-inventing an iconic piece of food so you know, you guys have spent years learning from the world's best now how do you turn that knowledge into a made in Dubai sense rather than an imported into Dubai so I think locally grown, and again, people in this room may be powerful for that so could you guys, my final last slide before James comes in does Julia Roberts in the Oscars and kicks me off stage for overstaying my speech could you guys become the catalyst for linking, dreaming, and being. so are you the Do between Dream and Be ? you know, I think as designers it may be worth exploring sort of how you can coalesce everybody you know, the Politicians, or as Ideo talking to Obama how self a publicizing of me would never dream of doing that yeah, we've been talking to the Obama administration about how they never understand, you know, how to innovate so i think again this process is not just post-it notes, this process is how the future is starting to occur again and again and of course, i would urge people in local communities, i think this is the time where local and that's why im so excited to be here i came here deliberately for that reason, because i thought its time to drop that sort of TED level of thought leadership into local communities because i think this is where it going to start to really kind of hit the road so its very exciting to me that these guys invited me because I think bringing this kind of thing into local communities is the next iteration of this kind of work so I would suggest that you go out there and co-create and prototype cardboard futures for yourselves this is one of our designers making i think a camper van out of cardboard at some point, and as you can see that's kind of core to what we do and as design is increasingly becoming a tool for social change, it's this idea of going very very big and then manifesting it locally that is going to really i think be about the future so, that's kind of it. I hope my Arabic speaking friends are going to cut me some slack here that i didn't say anything too blasphemous or offensive and i hope that this was helpful, i want this to be useful, im really interested in the idea of action coming out of this not just it wasnt that cool but here's what im going to do about it. so im going to encourage you this brainstorming stuff go on outside im encouraging you to participate in that conversation on your way to lunch just through a post-it up and then we're going to capture all of those and then we're going to feed them back to this crowd and we're going to continue this conversation on Facebook so last couple of slides if you take nothing from this, take this: be fundamentally collaborative across all various strata and discipline and races think prototype and make this a local conversation, and keep being brave because that's that's what's all about here i think Making up your own design. Thank You -Applause-

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 22 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 99
Posted by: sumayya on Mar 24, 2010

Our event is call TEDxDubai, where x=independently organized TED event.

At our TEDxDubai event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized

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