TED Circles: what's the story? - TEDxLondon

TED Circles: what’s the story?

Find out more about the latest initiative sharing ‘ideas worth spreading’ from TED.

We held our latest virtual TED Circles in June, with the theme of ‘Resilience’.  For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the concept, TED Circles is a new monthly initiative from TED, where small groups of people come together to discuss talks by various TED and TEDx speakers. We like to think of it as a ‘book club for TED talks’!

Here are just some of the things our
audience said about resilience.

Over 70 participants – including members of Project for the study of the 21st century (PS21) – came ready to learn, share perspectives and connect with new people. We delved deeper into talks by Lucy Hone (TEDxChristchurch) and TEDxLondon speaker Peter Apps, exploring what makes us resilient as individuals, and what the world needs to tackle future challenges.

Lucy’s talk – ‘Three secrets of resilient people’ – explored her own journey to becoming resilient, in the face of overwhelming circumstances. As a grieving mother, she found that well-meaning support and advice often left her and her family feeling like “victims who were powerless to exert any influence over their grieving”. She says what she needed was hope and to be an active participant in her own grieving process. 

As a resilience expert, Lucy applied what she had learnt to her own situation, highlighting the particular importance of the way we think and act, and how this helps us navigate tough times. 

Lucy highlights 3 main strategies resilient people use:

1 – Being realistic and understanding that hardships are inevitable and happen to everyone.

2 –  Choosing to focus their attention on the things they can change, while accepting the things they cannot change. 

3 – Asking themselves: “Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?”

This TED Circles was particularly special to our TEDxLondon community as we were joined virtually by Peter Apps, who spoke at TEDxLondon Beyond Borders 2019. We were thrilled to have him return to the TEDxLondon family and join the conversation in an exclusive Q&A session.

Peter’s talk, ‘History isn’t over’, was a smart play on the words of Francis Fukuyama, who claimed we had reached the ‘end of history’. Peter challenges this statement by noting we are closer to the brink of war than we have been in decades, with growing political unrest and a rise of populism and dictatorships, while the rich get richer and the poor become poorer. 

Peter highlights that while now is “still the best time to be alive if you’re a woman, a person of colour and almost any other previously marginalised group or minority”, such social advancements should not be taken for granted. We are, says Peter, already starting to regress in some areas.

He also spoke about the importance of technology and how it’s used for both good or bad intentions. Citizen journalism, for example, aided our awareness of movements such as the Arab Spring and continues to shed light on what’s happening in Syria. But, says Peter, the flip side is the role of technology in the formation of ‘police states’. “History isn’t over”, he says, and everyone will need to play a role in our survival.

Watch Peter’s talk, ‘History isn’t over’ to hear more.

We’ll be running TED Circles every month. If you would like to join us, make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to hear all the details and how to register for our next events. TED Circles are free to attend and will be run virtually for the foreseeable future.