Following up on the local TEDWomen event hosted by TEDxTheAnnexWomen a couple of weeks back, I have more highlights to share with you! At the event, I met another wonderful woman who was happy to chat, engage, and share in the experience at MOMENTUM.
Her name is Kulbinder Saran Caldwell. She is a life coach, mother, and community builder. Here she takes time out of a busy schedule to share her TEDxWomen experience with us.
HM: What were your reasons to attend TEDxWomen events?
KSC: This was my first TEDxWomen event and I will definitely be back. A friend of mine told me about the event a week prior and the keynote speaker, Almas Jiwani, President of UN Women Canada caught my eye, along with the diversity of topics and expertise. Shortly, I’m launching my new portal REALLIFEwomen.ca, which is an online connection for socially conscious South Asian women to come together to learn from each other and support one another to build a strong community together. A mandate that fits nicely with those who attend TEDxWomen.
It was an enriching and inspiring day with the energy at World Café making this a must-attend event for me from now on! I walked out after a long, tiring day of taking in all the information but still wanting more… to continue talking and connecting. And I don’t think it was just me, which was the beauty of it. Everyone in that room really wanted to be there, at that time, with all these wonderful, like-minded women. It validated to me, I’m on the right track with REALLIFEwomen.ca, which is why I took on the responsibility of keeping connected, those of us who wanted to continue the momentum.
HM: Any highlights from the speakers?
KSC: I really found I gleaned something from all the speakers, even from those that I wasn’t particularly certain I was going to be able to relate to. I tweeted quotes and pictures all day. Some of the highlights were:
Margaret Heffernan: Point about “helpfulness” outperforming the individual and “how social connectedness really matters” and “money erodes social connectedness” and “Leaders create the conditions in which everyone can do their most courageous thinking together.” – I would feature Margaret’s TEDx Talk on REALLIFEwomen.ca as an example of what we can do when we help one another.
Roxanne Gay: “Become economically vulnerable when choose to stay home – let’s deal with that!” and “When we talk about the needs of women, we have to consider the other identities we inhabit. We are not just women.” and we may be moving forward as individuals but backwards as a community” – I would also feature Roxanne and she’s a diverse woman as well.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro: “What we share is much more powerful than what divides us. We all want the same things” and “We want male leaders to become role models and change agents within their organizations.” – I did a keynote speech at an event in January and spoke about leveraging the support of men to help move the yardstick of gender equality and I would definitely feature this talk as well.
On a personal note:
Yvonne Bambrick being a co-creator of Kensington’s Pedestrian Sunday which I absolutely love and take advantage of each summer AND Kristyn Wong Tam wanting to bring Expo 2025 to Toronto (I would sign that petition!) and focusing on diversity: “Everyone that lives in Toronto has a connection to other parts of the world” and “We can all be global ambassadors” (which I believe many of us already feel that Toronto is the most diverse city in the world but no one has declared that as something to stand behind) AND Vanessa Reid shared Conscious Closure through a very personal story of losing a parent and I lost my dad last year. I completely understood what she went through and find order in the chaos was an apt description.
HM: What is your MOMENTUM?
KSC: The event and being surrounded by such amazing women was exactly what I needed to not only continue my personal momentum but bring it up a notch! During the World Café we answered the question: How can we continue to build MOMENTUM? The ideas were the following: Value of being together; looking for opportunities to be collaborative & increase self-respect; cross-disciplinary group that is inter-generational; women can support others; need to gather I’ve reached out to the other attendees from TEDxWomen within a few days to ask those who wanted to get together for meetups. I received a few responses and I know once dates are set for the next few months I can put the word out for those who want to connect.
Currently I’m working on the #browngirlmovement which supports the diverse voices of Brown Girls who aren’t being heard. I support writer/director Sharon Lewis (a brown girl) and the making of the first Caribbean-Canadian science fiction feature film (her voice). And I’m launching REALLIFEwomen.ca by the end of the month.
Like Kulbinder, I was fully engaged for the entire time at TEDxTheAnnexWomen. The amount of information was not only inspiring but also helpful and motivating. And thanks to the World Café portion of the day, Kulbinder and I have been able to keep connected and share our MOMENTUM together. I am certainly looking forward to hearing more about this first Caribbean-Canadian science fiction feature, as well as her REALLIFEwomen.ca project. Stay tuned here for updates!
*Photo by Photography for Social Good