Sunday Morning Update

If I ask you what makes a Sunday priceless, 97% of you would answer it with ‘sleep.’ The remaining few would probably be considered crazy. But I am writing to you live from the official venue of TEDxKinnaird2013, where more than 40 people including the core team, crew, volunteers and this year’s speakers have already braced themselves to accomplish this one and only rehearsal before the spotlight hits the stage on 16th.

What’s holding my gaze right now is a huge wooden table overloaded with a variety of machines, lights, wires and most attractive of all -sandwiches. There is a noticeable mix of moods as well. I can hear some whispers from the end, and giggles too. Two ladies, however, do not seem to be in a satisfied state of mind. They are walking vigorously with slight frowns towards the man focusing a beam on the slippery wooden floor.  Volunteers from the designee team are all over the stage, carrying props and paints, and glue. Speakers have decided upon corners to rehearse their talks. The core team is fixing smiles on their faces to pose as the photographer holds her camera up. But over all, they have decided to have some random clicks today, with tangled hair and lost expressions. None of these TEDx-obsessed people are going back until they get a ‘thumbs up’ by the Curator.

Looks like this Sunday will end up as the best, though, busiest working day.

Two Minutes With Jay Jaboneta


Who is Jay Jaboneta? 

Jay Jaboneta opens doors for people who will open doors for other people.


What brought you to Lahore? 

I am currently a Global Fellow of Acumen Fund. Part of being a Global Fellow is to be assigned to a social enterprise that Acumen has invested in. I’m currently working with Pharmagen Water, a social enterprise providing access to affordable, clean and safe drinking water to the underprivileged in Lahore.


How has it been for you here so far?

It’s been an amazing experience so far – I love the food and the generosity and hospitality of Pakistanis everywhere. Except for getting down with flu during winter, it’s been a fun-filled learning experience since I got here.


What does Construct Deconstruct mean to you? 

I believe it’s important we dig deeper into how things happen in the world.  Icebergs float on the ocean with only about 10% of their mass appearing above the ocean; the remaining 90% is concealed beneath the waves.


What drives you to do what you do? 

I believe education opens doors for people so it’s important that everyone gets an opportunity to go to school.


What would we find in your refrigerator right now? 

Nothing. :) Since I’m new to Lahore and Pakistan, I try to eat out a lot.


What to expect at TEDxKinnaird


One of Pakistan’s few (and first) University style TEDx events, TEDxKinnaird has become one of Pakistan’s student communities most anticipated annual events. Don’t take our word for it- ask anyone! Everyone who attends a TEDxKinnaird conference has some expectations as to what they’ll experience. Here are the things you should expect as an attendee of the phenomenon that is TEDxKinnaird:

First off, expect to be participants and not silent spectators. The reason why we have such a rigorous and ‘long’ screening process is so that we can select attendees who’re willing to contribute to TEDxKinnaird. This year, more than ever, look forward to some exciting additions.

Expect to be inspired. Not in a simple tear jerking kinda way. More in a “my legs and hands are moving of their own accord and why are there drums beating in my ears?” kinda way that’ll have you up and out of your seat and running out to try some of the ideas these TEDxKinnaird Speakers have.

Expect to be dazzled. You’ll be hit with new ideas and inspiring stories from all sides. It won’t be wrong to expect stars in your eyes by the time the event is over.

Expect to listen to people like you, who have done extraordinary things in their lives. Expect them to make you want to do something extraordinary too.

It isn’t just about listening to speakers. Expect to be a part of activities that have been specifically designed to ensure that you have fun and loosen up.

Expect to find new friends. At TEDxKinnaird, you are bound to find someone who interests you or intrigues you enough to start a conversation with.

And because all that isn’t enough, except to be left wanting for more of the amazing experience that TEDxKinnaird has to offer to all of you.


The Space Between IQ and EQ – TEDxKinnairdWomen

There are many women across the globe,  filled with passion, who share their revolutionary ideas and experiences through TEDxWomen. Taking in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” this program is designed to put a spotlight on the plans, aims and experiences of women who have made a difference. TEDxKinnairdWomen aims to bring those women a little closer. It helps you to be motivated by a woman who herself, has once been inspired.

So once again, the young ladies of Kinnaird gathered in their college auditorium on December third, to hear  seven bright people who talked ‘the space between IQ and EQ’ in their own awe-inspiring  ways.  Pat Mitchell, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Paley Center of Media (the TEDxWomen venue), gave a brief introduction of TEDxWomen in accordance with the current theme, and kickstarted the session.  A best-selling author, journalist, speaker and corporate consultant, John Gerzema cheered up the female crowd as he proved with statistical survey that both male and female traits are uniformly needed to run the society. He is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new interests and demands. Listening to a male speaker at TEDxWomen, so earnestly portraying the true role of a woman was an ultimate start to this event. Another speaker who was an audience favorite was  Emily Bazelon, an American journalist, senior editor for online magazine Slate, and a senior research fellow at Yale Law School. Her work as a writer focuses on law, abortion, and family issues. Bazelon has written a series on bullying and cyber bullying for Slate, called “Bull-E.” She backed Clifford Nass through her talk at TEDxWomen and convinced the audience that face-to-face contact is the best way to learn to read other people’s emotions. And it certainly is how kids learn empathy.

It is always easy to relate to a person who shares the same background and culture as you. With her story much closer to many other girls of Asia and the Middle East, Shabana Rasikh left the listeners emotionally touched. Born and raised in Kabul, this brave woman had left no stone unturned in order to seek something she valued most in life -Education. Stating in general, and by means of her historic tale, she expressed the value of an educated daughter.

Have you ever imagined of building a ‘neural network’ to diagnose breast cancer? Brittany Wenger has. This brainy 17-year old combined the fields of biology and computer science and has written a computer program that helps doctors diagnose breast cancer. As soon as Wenger’s  talk came to an end, everybody seemed to have met a mood swing. They were now dreaming bigger, hoping higher, and smiling wider.

And to represent the competitive stamina of a woman, Charlotte Beers and Amber Rubarth, two proficient women kept the audience intact by means of effective dialogue and lively music. Last but not the least, providing a splendid end to this event, Elizabeth Lindsey magnificently interpreted the theme, and affirmed that the space between IQ and EQ is wisdom.

To bring some fire to this cozy evening, volunteers arranged for high tea right outside the auditorium. A cup of hot tea in chilly hands was perhaps, a perfect end to this evening!

The world would not be what it is if there were no such women to steer it the right way. Women today are busier than ever and can be seen wading through all fields of struggle in life, side by side with men. No wonder we have so many women around us who are striving hard for their nations. And for anyone who would refuse to recognise he acheivements, well, they’ll just keep on moving forward and doing better till they show everyone the true meaning of girl power.

Storyteller: Zoya Hasan

TEDxKinnairdWomen – The Space Between

Every year TEDxWomen events all over the world come up with a theme that aptly defines what it means to be a woman in the 21st century; the values and priorities that makes us more than just flesh and blood. This year, the theme challenges the perspective of every woman, willing her to come forward with her own interception of the three words. It is not just about black and white anymore but about the shades of grey in between. It is also not about work and home but what thoughts the journey in between give rise to.

The space in between could be anything really. But the core is to move away from monotony, from thoughts that sharply divide the world into two parts. If there are 360 angles of looking at something, why should we limit ourselves to claiming something as either right or wrong? There are countless words to describe the emotions between happiness and sadness so why limit ourselves on purpose?

Closure is not as tempting as it sounds; it doesn’t even exist. It is but an extension of the human mind trying to belong to a solid state of mind. TEDxKinnairdWomen wills that human mind to shed the notion of belonging to one of the two groups but instead stay grounded in the feelings they experience, whether of amusement, desperation, delight or unease. It is okay to be in the space between.

Join us on the 3rd of December at 1 PM to watch the webstream of TEDxWomen.