We Want Peace

I have just heard a wonderful song by Emmanuel Jal who I have been a supporter and fan of since I saw his wonderful TED Talk “The Music Of A War Child”.

The video is here:

The song was written as part of Jal’s campaign to stop the outbreak of another civil war in his native Sudan. To quote his website:

My country is on the brink of war. On January 9, Southern Sudan will vote for its independence to be free from a government who has slaughtered and displaced our people for 43 years. The country is currently led by a regime bent on controlling oil resources.  80% of Sudan’s oil fields are in the south, making it a prime battleground to displace our indigenous people.  Both north and south are preparing for war, leaving innocent people at grave risk of major human rights violations. The last civil war between North and South claimed over 2 million lives, including my own mother. I have firsthand experience as a war child, forced to fight in the conflict and torn from my family. The time to prevent another genocide is now. I have a written a new single called “We Want Peace”.  It is a call for peace, protection and justice for all in my land, and also for an end to conflicts affecting innocent people all around the world.  Thank you for joining me in my struggle.

I have written this blog post as my small contribution to supporting this campaign….. we cannot surely sit by and allow another major genocide to take part in Africa….. please pass on the message….. WE WANT PEACE.

My TED Talks TOP 20:

Observing a Stroke from Within
Image by jurvetson via Flickr

I have updated my personal all-time favourite list of TED Talks (which now  includes 3 TEDx Talks). This is a very personal list and no doubt your own list would be very different. These though are the talks that have moved me, educated me and generally widened my horizons or maybe made me see the world in a different way.

I have finally (Easter 2011) reached my Top 20…. will I stop here? I don’t think so…because the Talks go on and on and they are wonderful.. so here’s to my next ten talks!

1.  Hans Rosling:  Debunking Third World Myths http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/hans_rosling_at_state.html If you’ve not seen the Swedish doctor give a talk with his wonderful animated statistics then you’re in for a treat

2. Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html Sir ken talking in his own inimitable style about the key significance of creativity in education..a must see for teachers and educators who care about the way education must go.

3. Nicholas Negroponte: One Laptop Per Child  http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child_two_years_on.html One of the great technological innovators on a project that deserves to be looked at.

4. William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed The Wind http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html The wonderful William talking about building his windmills in Malawi.. watch the video and then read his book.

5. Ben Dunlap: Ben Dunlap Talks About a Passionate Life http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ben_dunlap_talks_about_a_passionate_life.html A real tour-de-force by a brilliant speaker and storyteller…. probably my favourite ever TED Talk.

6. Chris Abani: Chris Abani On the Stories of Africa http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/chris_abani_on_the_stories_of_africa.html Moving and well delivered a powerful and brave talk.

7. Emmanuel Jal: The Music of a War Child http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/emmanuel_jal_the_music_of_a_war_child.html Another powerful talk from a wonderful young rap singer and political activist.. just watch his song “Emma” at the end of his talk… inspiring.

8. Doris Kearns Goodwin: on  learning From Past Presidents http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/doris_kearns_goodwin_on_learning_from_past_presidents.html Avery personal talk by a great writer and historian…. beautifully delivered… great to listen and learn from.

9. Pranav Mistry:The Thrilling Potential of Sixthsense Technology This is just awe inspiring stuff and definitely has the “wow” factor…. if you want to see the future then watch this Talk.


10. Jill Bolte Taylor: Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html A great and moving talk that links science to real experience. Jill Bolte Taylor talks about what she learned about the brain from her own stroke…. absolutely riveting talk.

11. Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds Of Minds http://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds.html

A brilliant talk by an animal expert who has autism herself and has achieved so much in her life.


Aimee Mullins: The opportunity of adversity  http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_the_opportunity_of_adversity.html A  wonderful talk by an inspiring individual about redefining disablement but most importantly….. human potential.

13. Benjamin Zander: Classical Music With Shining Eyes:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LCwI5iErE A brilliant talk that is simply life enhancing.


TEDxSaskatoon Dean_Shareski The Return of Barn raising and Pop Ins  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E_VG7nvIy0 A great talk about the  return to community that the internet has given us… and the implications for education.

15. Denis Dutton A Darwinian Theory of Beauty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PktUzdnBqWI A brilliant talk that poses questions about the universality of our experience of beauty from a wonderful academic and speaker who died yesterday (December 28th) from Cancer…. a worthy memorial to his work and ideas.

16. Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian Revolution this is a talk about the recent amazing and powerful events in Egypt that saw the overthrow of President Mubarak by a revolution that was fueled and supported by new social media such as Facebook and the man who became the unofficial leader of that revolution Wael Ghonim. A powerful talk that explains much.

17. Sarah Kay If I Should Have a Daughter a wonderful talk by a great Spoken Word Poet from the TED 2011 Conference

18. Roger Ebert Remaking  My Voice a talk by a great film critic who has no voice after suffering cancer but who has rediscovered a voice and the ability to communicate using digital tgechnology.

19. John Hunter On The World Peace Game  A great teacher who uses a game to get his 4th grade children to try and “solve” the world’s problems! This is a great talk which shows so clearly the value of open-ended collaborative learning in the classroom.

20. Eve Ensler: Embrace Your Inner Girl A powerhouse of what it means to have emotion and how the “inner girl” inall of us is a strength that has allowed the huiman race to develop and may yet save us. Brilliant.