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Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

Steve Jobs, Wired, February 1995

Thanks to Maria for reminding me of this great quote.

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Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money; then sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present, and as a result, he doesn’t live in the present or the future. And he lives as if he’s never going to die and then dies having never really lived.
— Dalai Lama XIV, when asked what surprised him most about humanity

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One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
— Henry Miller

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Milton Glaser is a genius. A talk about failure and personal development.

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Questions are the creative acts of intelligence.
— Frank Kingdon

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It’s my birthday today! Birthdays are so much more fun when you are a kid. It is with this in mind that I ask my friends and family to donate to our campaign for Save the Children’s Japan Fund in lieu of presents. 

Thanks to MissionFish/PayPal 100% of all your contributions via these links GIVE USD$ / GIVE UK£ will go direct to supporting children impacted by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I admire the work of Save the Children and encourage you to watch and share this video. 

While I can see the total grow, I won’t be able to see your name to thank you - so please leave me a message so I know who you are. Grateful for your generosity.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who contributed. We were able to raise $7057 USD for Save the Children’s Japan Emergency Fund.

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
— Apple “Think Different” campaign

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Entrepreneurs don’t see the cup as half empty or half full. They always see it as overflowing.
— KR Sridhar

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If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
— Thomas Jefferson

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Lissie | In Sleep (Live)

"Fast asleep where I keep my memories / calling me out in dreams"

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Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
— Charles Mingus

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Tweet-sized #TEDWomen Takeaways

In Washington this week, TED held its first conference purely focused around women.  Now perhaps like you, I was very curious what a TED Women event would look like, feel like and more importantly what messages it would it give us to share with the world to make a difference?  I am still digesting all the groundbreaking themes and threads of legacy that will shape what’s to come.  While it is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to dig out some of the most memorable quotes from TED Women. Hopefully these nuggets will inspire others to discover the people and talks and decide for themselves.  Special thanks to Pat Mitchell and The Paley Center for Media and June Cohen, Chris Anderson and the team at TED for their thoughtful curation.

Cartoon by Liza DonnellyNew Yorker.

OVERTURE

“In American fertility clinics, 75% of couples are requesting girls not boys.” -Hanna Rosin

“I’m kinda pro-people. I am one.” - Ted Turner

“I’ve been a victor of circumstance.” - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

“It’s people that make and lose money, not Excel spreadsheets.” - Halla Tomasdottir [video]

“If you have a democracy, people will vote for washing machines.” - Hans Rosling

“Every time an elder dies, it’s like a library burns.  There are libraries ablaze all over the world.” - Elizabeth Lindsey

“We can change the world one laugh at a time.” - Liza Donnelly

LIFE’S SYMPHONY 

“Our generation is painted as apathetic.  I’d say we’re overwhelmed.” -Courtney E. Martin

“Women systematically underestimate their own abilities. No one gets to the corner office sitting on the sideline.” - Sheryl Sandberg [video]

“I’m here to confuse you. Confusion is my right and left hook.” - Mona Eltahawy

“My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman.” - Tony Porter [video]

“Television has a conscience.  It is how we disseminate our value system.” - Lauren Zalaznick

“Take ‘The Other’ to lunch. Get to know one person from a group you have negatively stereotyped.” - Elizabeth Lesser

“I now know the value of education.  I want other girls to go to the V-Day school.” - Jacklyne’s father Lemeria Ole Leperes

VOICES AT THE TABLE

“Before, my neighbours didn’t want to hear me.  Today, the world is waiting to hear my voice.” - Sunita Basnet

“Men have been in charge for a very long time. I think there’s room for other ideas.” - Nancy Pelosi

“I view myself as the mother of the country.” - a quote shared by both Madame Callista Mutharika and Sia Nyama Koroma

“Discover the great ideas that lie inside you by discovering the power of sleep.” - Arianna Huffington

SHORT TALKS

“Women want to give because they want to feel connected.” - Lisa Witter

“The green leaves of the Moringa contain all the essential amino acids; a complete protein unlike any other plant.” - Fiona Eberts

“Social media is going to help us get rid of the absurd stereotypes of gender.” - Johanna Blakely

“Success is not about dominating one space, but about reaching out across boundaries.” - Sally Osberg

“The key to economic security - to food security in Africa is empowering the women.” - Judith Rodin

COMPOSERS

“We’re going to have to accept the fact that healthcare innovation can’t always come at a higher price.” - Deborah Rhodes

“My dream is remaking and reforming a more sustainable, more livable, delicious future.” - Kate Orff

“The most successful tech gets out of the way and helps us create our lives.” - Amber Case

“Robots touch something deeply human within us.  For me, robots are all about people.” - Cynthia Breazeal

“No money for hospital?  Eat beans, you won’t get sick.” - Annet Namayanja

“My computer’s like a baby bag.” - Heather Knight

DUETS

“Death begins in the eyes.  You can see the moment when one gives up hope.” - Dereck Joubert

“We don’t know everything.  Nature is so unpredictable.” - Beverly Joubert

“We like artwork where, when you close your eyes, you still see it.  You see it in four minutes, in four hours.” - Heather and Tony Podesta

“If we determine a man beats his wife, we lock him in the storage room jail.” - Dr. Hawa Abdi and Dr. Deqo Mohamed

“People think of love as a binary thing; you’re either in love, or not.  But love is a process.” - Rufus Griscom

“Age is a form of lithium.” - Alisa Volkman

“We’re concerned about global environment, but have no concept of our ‘internal environmentalism’.” - Penelope Jagassar Chaffer

“We assume that we’re masters of our environment, rather than being a part of it.” - Tyrone Hayes

HARMONY AND DISCORD

“Crime is a product of a distorted mind.” - Kiran Bedi [video]

“Our underlying assumption of limitlessness makes it possible for us to take the risks we do.” - Naomi Klein

“I do not believe meditation and prayer will save the world.  I think we need action.” - whispered by the Dalai Lama to Jody Williams

“What we really yearn for as human beings is to be visible to each other.” - Jacqueline Novogratz

“We should not underestimate culture as a tool to bring people together.” - Sheikha Al Mayassa

“Art is our weapon.  Culture is a form of resistance.” - Shirin Neshat

“Our suffering is equal; yet I’m treated with sympathy and she is treated with hostility.” - Phyllis Rodriguez on Aicha El-Wafi

CRESCENDO

“Don’t ever think compassion is weak.   Compassion is about strength.” - Joan Halifax

“I realized I needed to address people, not just dress them.” - Donna Karan

“When you’re a part of a sisterhood that wants you to soar, it is impossible to fail.” - Sejal Hathi

“I believe there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” - Madeleine Albright

“It’s a tough goal. Male hegemony mutates through every corridor of power.” - Stephen Lewis

“I never needed eyes to see.  I just needed vision and belief.” - Caroline Casey

“If you are divided from your body, then you are divided from the body of the world.” - Eve Ensler

“Give women equal rights and a nation is more stable, more secure.” - Hillary Clinton  [video]  ”Women’s equality is not just a moral issue, it’s not just a humanitarian issue, it is not just a fairness issue.  It is a security issue, it is a prosperity issue, it is a peace issue.”

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Writings on the Berlin Wall.

I had the opportunity to tour the Newseum in Washington, DC with my friend Cathy thanks to a kind invitation from the legendary Shelby Coffey.  It was fascinating to take a deeper look at the cultural and historical milestones through a media perspective.  

One of the more memorable exhibits is the Berlin Wall Gallery which features eight 12-foot-high concrete sections of the original wall, the largest display outside of Germany.  Incredible how the messages that were etched then can still resonate strongly today.

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#TEDWomen

There is nothing I love more than a fabulous invitation to a great event, especially one that involves flying.  So when Levi’s reached out to me a short time ago and extended an invitation to attend TED Women in DC this week, I was honoured.  I have been following their latest campaign Shape What’s to Come, which is rooted with a website that connects young women to mentors and peers on a platform where they can network, express ideas and collaborate with other likeminded women.  More importantly, they genuinely want to see positive action through the support of this community.  I personally really love the concept and am curious to see what the long term impact will be for the women in arts and media, music, fashion and social change that participate.

They are also debuting a special Shape What’s to Come documentary by renowned director Chiara Clemente at TED Women.  Levi’s asked 50 inspiring young women across the globe to inscribe hand-crafted journals with how they’re shaping the future, and who’s inspired them to become who they are today.  The film takes a closer look at eight of these unique stories from the US, UK and Japan.

TED Women kicks off in a couple of hours and the calibre of speakers is incredible.  I look forward to having some great conversations, interviewing a few fabulous people and learning more about a campaign which I believe can be a powerful vehicle for change. I will blog and tweet a bit this week and share some of my favourite moments.

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Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard. - Dave Mustaine 
 Goodbye London. It has been an incredible seven and a half years. When I close my eyes and think of you, I see the view from one of my favourite rooftops in the city. 

Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard. - Dave Mustaine

Goodbye London. It has been an incredible seven and a half years. When I close my eyes and think of you, I see the view from one of my favourite rooftops in the city. 

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