Making Big Changes,
One at a Time
Throughout the day at our TED talks, one thing was clear: Creating a brighter future is something everyone can contribute to.
Seventeen speakers took the stage at the TED@Unilever event in New York City on Sept. 17, and while those on stage came from different countries, industries and upbringings, their passion for spreading the message of empowerment tied them all together.
“This must be my proudest day working for Unilever,” North American President Kees Kruythoff said during the day's closing remarks. “What an inspiration.”
His inspiration came from the day's messages of hope, philanthropy, encouragement, optimism and aspiration. Below are some of the highlights of the speakers' talks and others we spoke with during the day:
“I see very much what we're doing as a catalytic approach -- the grit in the oyster that will hopefully create the pearl. The more we can do and encourage, the better. The idea that you can make the case for sustainability and have a good business as well. These aren't the pulling apart ideas, they're the coherent and self-building ideas.” -- Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and how he hopes it inspires other companies and organizations to follow suit. Read his full talk here. (Photo courtesy of TED)
“6.6 million children never make it to their fifth birthday. Most of these deaths are preventable, and it doesn't just make me sad, it makes me angry … Handwashing with soap keeps kids in school and keeps babies from dying. Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways of saving a child's life.” -- Myriam Sidibe, Global Social Mission Director for Unilever's Lifebuoy®. (Photo by Ben Lowy)
"We are at a remarkable moment in time. We face over the next two decades two fundamental tranformations that will determine whether the next 100 years is the best of centuries or the worst of centuries.” -- Lord Nicholas Stern, author of Review on the Economics of Climate Change, discussing what he describes as a crossroads of climate change. (Photo courtesy of Ben Lowy)
"There are plenty of thresholds and measures you can put into place to make sure someone is achieving the job, but don't judge them on what they've done in the past, because you may find someone who's an amazing worker and they've never hit on any of those markers you think are good. If you don't give them a first chance, they're never going to make it.” -- Mike Brady, President and CEO of Greyston Bakery, discussing his company's view on hiring policies. (Photo by Ben Lowy)
“There's something everyone cares about, but it's about tapping into that one thing that maybe not everyone cares about, but you care about. … It's about connecting to people in different ways. I really believe that very simple innovations can change the trajectory of the future.” -- Anu Sridharan, cofounder of Next Drop, on finding your passion and simple solutions. (Photo by Ben Lowy)
“It's all about continuing to put in front of people inspiring stories, new ideas, new innovations … and to try to get them inspired. We're trying to touch people's hearts. We're trying to get to places you don't generally get to by teaching people stuff, by educating them. This is not simply another story -- it's about making it emotional.” -- Jonathan Atwood, Unilever VP of Sustainable Living and Communications, on the day's message of emotional storytelling. (Photo by Ben Lowy)