TEDx Lund University asks how to contemplate change

TEDx Lund

writer icon Lydia Nicoll     Johan Nordström   |   City     🕐 29. Jan. 2019

More than 100 attendees filled the halls of the Lund Academic Society's auditorium on Saturday afternoon, for the second TEDx hosted by Lund University.

Tackling the topic 'The Nature of Change', 12 speakers challenged the crowd to consider behaviour and ways of thinking, muse on changes that have occurred in their lives, and also presented fresh perspectives on how to approach the concept of change itself.  

“I think change is a nice topic because it is so broad, it’s relatable to a lot of people, and gives the speaker flexibility to talk about what they’re actually knowledgeable about, the talks are all pretty varied” content writer Evan Farbstein, said at the event.

Processes of change
Speakers included notable Swedish entrepreneur and investor Hampus Jakobsson, who encouraged the crowd to treat individual thoughts and perspectives as you would a computer operating system, in that they may need upgrading from time to time.

“When our views aren’t challenged, we let our operating system go stale,” he argued, adding that in order to change and improve ourselves, we should be asking “why do I think what I think, and why don’t I upgrade that for my life?”

Similarly, Swedish psychologist Lina Sjöholm explained to the audience that in order to change ourselves and others, we must focus not only on our thoughts, but also reflect on specific behaviours and their consequences. Pinpoint something you wish to change, focus on the action, visualise the result of that behaviour and then provide positive feedback or encouragement when the behaviour is good or corrected, she suggested.

Change is not something that happens overnight, and sometimes it is small actions that grow over time that can result in the most profound changes, added vegan chef, entrepreneur, and founder of VEGO magazine, Mattias Kristiansson. In his talk on becoming a ‘vegan superhero’ Mattias encouraged the audience to make small changes one day at a time, to find that it may then lead to a whole new lifestyle.

When asked what inspired him to attend Saturday’s event, physician, Ph.D. student, and entrepreneur Artin Entezarjou said “I just realized my biggest passion is learning and teaching, and that’s what inspired me to come [as] TED is the perfect forum to learn. Change to me means stepping out of your comfort zone and going from there.”

Speaker Jonathan Ljungkvist would likely agree. In his talk, he shared stories of his adventures around the world, and how he discovered that actions that can seem small to you may be profound to others. By stepping out of your comfort zone and doing the unexpected, truly remarkable outcomes can be had that in turn inspire change in others.

On what motivated him to participate in TEDx Lund University, Jonathan added that  “I would say I would love the theme of change, because change has been such a big part of my life”. 

Moreover, London-based waste management and recycling entrepreneur Philip Mossop, suggested ways of  approaching larger systemic change. He explained that instead of viewing change as a lens, his company saw it as a prism that requires the collaborative approach of individual, group, and organisation. In order to facilitate change, you should “understand the timings of change, balance innovation with efficiency, and believe in your role in the change”,  he said.

A successful and inspiring event
Teacher and Malmö-based social entrepreneur Amanda Kramer thinks that the event was so popular because change is “something everyone is trying to do”. With European Studies, Media and Communications student, and first time TEDx attendee, Teodor Fridén, adding that “TED is a huge brand and is a very well thought out forum for ideas and creativity, it’s almost like a celebration, it’s so cool to be here and everyone is so nice.”

Leadership and Management student Marike Janssen's motivation for attending was personal “I would like to change a couple of things in myself, and I was hoping to get some inspiration on how to approach that” , she said. Speaker and electric car entrepreneur Lewis J. Horne, would likely find this a good place to start. In his speech he agued that “the stagnation of progress comes from the refusal to challenge how things have been done”.

The TEDx event took place over six hours, and was put on by a group of volunteers from Lund University and surrounding Skåne. Vegan fika and dinner were provided by local restaurant The Herbivore, and corporate sponsors included SONY, Awa Patent, IDEON Science Park, Axis Communications, Nerds of Sweden, and Knowit.

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