#TEDxRdam : The aftermath

After a long day of TEDxRotterdam speeches, talking to the other visitors in the crowd, walking around and observing everything that was going on, making some snapshots with my mobile phone, asking myself millions of questions, I was tired and happy to go home.

The dinner after the TEDxEvent was great. At first I was not that happy to mingle up with five complete strangers to obtain some food and actually considered going home, I already had so many impressions. But when I saw someone I know in the crowd, I rethought my idea of going home and actually found five people to have dinner with. Awesome.

With those five people we discussed what we did and did not like about the day. We talked about the way to engage people in charity and how to activate people to actually wanting to do something for any goal. We talked about religion, without making it a theological conversation, we talked about our points of view in life and about a dozen other subjects.

The discussion I liked best was the discussion about if we, human beings, should interfere in other cultures, but also if we should interfere in what is happening to our environment. I myself believe that the more interfering of Western ‘civilization’, the more war and greed will be produced. The more people start to be unhappy with what they have and will aim for more, more, more, which results in slowly consuming and destroying our planet and the entire human race with it. On the other hand I believe that our interference with our planet is causing the same problems: war, greed, consuming our planet, destroying our planet.

I sincerely believe that less interference in cultures, less oppressing of political systems in ‘isolated’ societies, might be better for world peace. Maybe I am wrong, maybe  eventually our Western way of life will save the world, but I see much more respect in our surroundings in other cultures than in the world I see every day when I walk out my door.

This might sound a bit harsh, but if we don’t change our ways, I sincerely believe that we will destroy something on our planet. I do not believe that we are capable of destroying our entire planet, or maybe I am just telling that to myself to sleep at night, but I do believe that we, humans, are capable of producing an amount of pollution and deconstruction, that will eventually lead to the end of mankind.
Is that a bad thing? Maybe, for the planet, for everything that will be left on the planet when we, humans, die out, it will be one of the best things to happen for evolution. Maybe we humans have grown too fast, maybe we have developed too fast. And when I look around, most things that grow too fast, eventually will collapse. Look at companies, or a plant, or an individual human being. I guess I will be thinking about this subject for a while…

Now, the theme of TEDxRotterdam was Future Leadership. The speeches were intended to motivate and to inspire us, students, to become innovative leaders, in whatever field we will be working in the future. Somehow I keep thinking about a thing Marjolijn van Heemstra said in part 2 of TEDxRotterdam: Those who follow us will lead. Maybe, eventually, she is right. Maybe, eventually, there won’t be heroic leadership anymore. Maybe in the future, leadership is a group process. Maybe in the future, we will start thinking more and more in the same way until we become a flock. On the other hand, we might also need someone to lead this flock, we might need someone to lead the team players into becoming a team and as soon as we are a team, we might need someone to guide the team, we might need some glue to keep the team together. Which would be consistent with what Conny Janssen stated.

What I do believe is that where we might still have (some) leaders who are actually assigned to the job, leadership will return to be a more natural process in the future. With tools like social media, the majority of the people has gotten a voice, and is using that voice to reshape the world into something that fits their views. I believe that this voice will eventually create new leaders out of people who are truly inspiring and guiding the group, instead of people who ‘went to school’ to become a leader. I believe manager can be created at school, true leaders are created ‘out there’, on the soccer field, in the gym, on Facebook, on YouTube, on Google+, in the corporate restaurant…

I am very curious about your views on leadership, and your experiences, views and opinions on TEDxRotterdam. Share, Share, Share! :D


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