The Wonder Women of TEDActive came together this morning for a special breakfast hosted by TEDActive veteran Tereza Nemessanyi. In anticipation of the first session, thought leaders, artists, scientists, and TEDx organizers alike discussed new ideas, provocations around gender equality and the joys of being together over chilaquiles and orange juice. Here are a few of the interesting ladies we shared our morning meal with.
Activator Role: Digital Producer at CNN International
From: London, UK
What does it mean to be undiscovered?
Being undiscovered means that you’re working under the radar; you may have really cool ideas, but the wider public doesn’t know about them. It’s one of the reasons that motivated me to become a TEDx organizer. My community is full of people who have great ideas and are doing great stuff. They don’t necessarily have important connections and aren’t being celebrated on the world stage, but their ideas are just as valid.
What about your work is yet to be discovered?
I work as a digital journalist, so I’m always trying to discover how to push the boundaries of our storytelling digitally. For example, I was really impressed by new York Times “Snowfall” article. At CNN International we have a very global outlook, and I also would love more people to discover what we’re doing and how we link storytelling all over the world.
What are you most curious about?
I love the lifehacking movement. I’d like to be able to manage my time more efficiently. I’m a mom, I work full time, I’m a TEDx organizer, among other commitments. I’m curious about how to work smarter and have better life harmony.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I’m really good at Scrabble and Words with Friends. I’m quite competitive at it, in fact.
What’s the last song played on your iPod?
I love to listen to gospel music in the morning. It really centers me and helps me start the day in a peaceful way. This morning I listened to a really cool song called “Like the Dew.”
Activator Role: Founder, CatalystCreativ
From: Originally from New Jersey, now lives in Venices, NYC, and Las Vegas
Why are you excited about the work you do?
I started a company with the Downtown Project that builds community for socially conscious ventures. I have a background in both education and hospitality, but wanted to combine those two things into one company. We do a speaker’s series every month where we curate 30 individuals from around the country to speak to communities that have been really hit hard by the recession and are trying to start their lives over. The speakers give 15-minute, filmed talks that are really about vulnerability, failure, and humanity. We’ve also created ways for the audience to connect and engage with speakers via our Catalyst Community Board, as well as creating a co-working and co-living space for traveling speakers.
Why do you do what you do?
I want to create more engaged and aware individuals in the world, because I want to create more active participants in making the world a better place. I learned early on that my skill is brinigng people together. I’ve built a business around that skill with the intention of doing good and making money at the same time. We should all be driven by purpose, but with the intention of doing business in a good way.
What are you curious about?
I’m obsessed with systems. I believe my generation is the one that is responsible for bridging the gap between our parents’ generation and the one that follows ours. The next generation is even faster than us and more aware of the world, and we need to fix the systems that are broken so this next generation can come in and create. I believe we need to change the way education, philanthropy, and business work by applying the entrepreneurial spirit into each of these systems.
Read any interesting books lately?
Activator Role: Organizational Development at Phillip Morris
What does it mean to you to be a woman in your field?
As women, we have an opportunity to grown in terms of participation and decision-making. The reality is that we are still a minority in the world, especially in the corporate world. As long as we believe in the power we have and the equality of human beings, we will keep the momentum of pushing business participation for women forward.
What about your work is still undiscovered?
I still have yet to discover how we might bring this sharing platform TED has created into the corporate world. There’s a huge opportunity to make a big difference within companies. I believe that you can do business well but at the same time transform people’s lives. I’m interested in discovering how we can mix the concept of social entrepreneurship and the TED method of sharing within the corporate world.
What are you most curious about?
One of my biggest questions for myself is “How can I make a difference?” I’m most curious about how to find that answer. I’ve realized through TED that we need to start by doing something small in order to get to something really big.
What are you looking forward to this week?
I want to bring home an idea that I can implement. My expectation from this week is that I will get to know as many people as I can and start gathering ideas on how to transform what I believe into action.
Read anything good lately?
I have been moving around a lot lately, and I’ve found it very difficult to keep a routine. I’m reading a book now called The Power of Habit. I’m interesting in learning about how we can build and create routines and habits that stick, even amidst a very fast-paced lifestyle.