Jackie Bennion is one of TEDxWandsworth’s latest recruits, having joined the leadership team this year to help with speaker curation and writing. Here she, shares her reasons for volunteering, the TED talks she is most likely to send to friends and why Mo Farrah has her admiration.
What inspired you to get involved with TEDxWandsworth?
I spent a long time living in California as a journalist, surrounded by people and ideas that embody TED. I had come across TEDx events, and always appreciated the courage it takes to stand up and present your ideas to a room full of strangers.
It shows the best in human nature to want to share what you’ve learned and make sense of the world. I think if you do it for any other reason, the audience knows it. The wonder that makes up a good TED talk is becoming apparent as I work on the curation side of TEDx Wandsworth. I have more respect than ever for the speakers and the small teams who make TEDx happen all over the world.
How has your involvement benefited you?
I am only a few months into my first season but really enjoying it. The whole effort is centered around creativity – bringing out the best ideas and the best in people. I am inspired, and a little awed by the responsibility.
Which TED talks do you recommend to friends?
I’ve shared and viewed all sorts of TED talks, from biomimicry to procrastination to bitcoin. I’ll often read a book and then search to see if the author has done a TED talk.
I recently sent the Amy Cuddy talk to some friends. There is a moment in it where she chokes up and you do too – it’s that vulnerability of sharing your life experiences while turning them into helpful life lessons for others. The best talks come from a very human authentic place and if people can capture some of the humor in their (mis)adventures, even better.
What sums up happiness for you?
This is impossible to answer. It’s fleeting; grab it every moment you can.
What would your superpower be?
Some magic wand to clear up the political mess we’re in and make politicians (the world over) act as true public servants again – otherwise they’d sprout a giant nose like Pinocchio.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I can’t pick one person. I suppose people who excel, who make things look easy but behind what you see there is tremendous commitment and sacrifice and belief. I was awestruck by Mo Farrah this summer. There’s something about sporting excellence that tests every sort of agility.
What advice would you give to anyone considering volunteering for TEDxWandsworth?
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
Seeing the speakers on stage and rooting for them all the way.
Interview by Rosy Edwards