What does it mean to get connected?

On November 28th at TEDxSquareMile 2015 in Cass Business School, a selection of inspiring guest speakers will explore what it means to ‘get connected’. 

Getting connected can take place at the smallest personal level,TedxSqareMile but it can also occur on a truly global scale. As humans we crave connectivity, and over millennia this basic need has driven us to create ever better ways to get connected: from the development of spoken language and physical gestures such as handshaking and embracing, through to writing, the telegraph, telephone, radio, TV, satellite communications and social media.

How can we get connected?

Getting connected can be as simple as calling an old friend, saying hello to a new colleague or attending a social function, and it can be as complex as devising new ways for people to access digital information faster, wherever they are.

Today we have more ways of getting connected than ever, from texting and email, to social networking and blogging. Hundreds of digital TV channels and streaming video sites such as Youtube provide us with unprecedented access to information and entertainment. Ideas spread at lightning speed, crossing the globe in the time it takes to ‘share’ and ‘like’. Today the human species has the potential to communicate with and inspire one another like never before, and the TED movement has taken a leading role in this.

How can we reconnect the disconnected?

But despite these myriad forms of connectivity, there remain barriers to getting connected in the modern world. From the isolated pensioner deprived of human contact to the depressed teen who hides their troubles behind a smile; the homeless person on the fringes of society, and the abuse victim who dare not speak out. What does ‘getting connected’ look like to these people, and what can others do to help them connect?

Global communication has led to truly global clashes of ideology, the devastating effects of which can be seen in the news headlines on a daily basis. Could ‘getting connected’ mean putting aside differences and hatred to communicate and work together towards peace?

What should we be connected to?

Finally, in the face of blisteringly fast technological progress over the past 200 years, have we become indifferent or even at odds with the natural world that we are part of? Could ‘getting connected’ mean rediscovering our connection to the Earth that sustains us, individually and as a species?

We hope you’ll join us at TEDxSquareMile 2015 to explore these and other themes. In the meantime, let us know what getting connected means to you by responding in the comments section below.

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