TEDUniversity at TEDGlobal 2014

On Tuesday, I presented my talk at TEDGlobal 2014 to close out the TEDUniversity session. Here is a recap of the full event.

It was a really great experience. I rewrote and edited this talk frequently to get it right and try to fit my 7 minute mark. I had a lot of help and feedback from a number of mentors and the TED content team, which really helped me think through the content, sequence and strategy of the talk. It was, in essence, a very basic intro to why informal communities are interesting. I hope I will get to dig into more of the reasoning slowly as I keep moving forward with research.

I think I ran over in the end, but I was really in the zone during delivery… so I never looked at the clock beyond the 2.30 mark, where I was still making great time. After nervous run throughs all week and early early that morning in the hallway of the Copacabana Hotel… it felt good to walk on stage. Take a deep breathe and grin before delivering the best run through of my talk I had done yet.

It felt so good.

I received a lot of wonderful feedback and had really wonderful conversations about informal economies for hours (and now days….) afterwards. Which is essentially my ideal place to be.

It’s also helping me find ways to explain the ideas floating around in my head. The larger reasons why informal economies are interesting and worth noting. Especially for governments that want to understand fuller profiles of their cities.

To end, I’ll share one particular victory moment. A personal hero is a really talented researcher who works on black market/criminal activity and has spoken at TED before. I have asked him to advise my work before and he has been very supportive of me/my research. He was at TEDUniversity and saw my talk on Tuesday. And then found me Tuesday evening to tell me that I had done a great job. The feeling was comparable to what it would be like if Neil Armstrong told a young Astronaut that they had done a good job on a NASA mission. Not to say that my work is anywhere near as complicated and/or delicate as a NASA mission. But this was… well. I am very pleased with how this all turned out!

Thank you to everyone who sat through edits, run throughs, exhausted and frustrated phone calls/drafts/discussions with me. You are all so wonderful 🙂