Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Hannah Pool - Discovering herself while discovering Eritrea

When we decided on the theme for the first session of TEDxEuston 2010 as "Discovery and Re-discovery" nothing quite prepared us for Hannah Pool's beautiful story. Her name gives nothing away either. Born in Eritrea, growing up in Sudan and Norway - she arrived Manchester as a beautiful black girl speaking Norwegian! But the many countries Hannah had lived did little to prepare her for her big journey of discovery of Eritrea to re-discover herself and her life, as she admits, has never been the same. Listen to her talk here:

Hannah Pool is, in her own words, British-Eritrean, Eritrean-British. She was born in Eritrea in 1974 and was adopted at the age of six months by a British scholar who lived and worked in the Sudan. She was raised in Manchester, England, believing that both her parents had died shortly after her birth. She now lives in London where she works as a columnist for The Guardian. Her book titled My Fathers' Daughter was published by Hamish Hamilton in 2005.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Is Pat Utomi an entrepreneur, teacher or politician?

Is he an entrepreneur, teacher or politician? He says he does not particularly like any of these titles and will prefer to to known as a "citizen"....citizen???  In this era of do-or-die politics in Nigeria - this may be what stands Professor Patrick Utomi out from the crowd.

It is not often that one listens to a Nigerian politician connect with an audience quite the way Pat Utomi does. In this stirring talk at TEDxEuston 2010 he leaves the audience deep in thought about our responsibilities to our countries in Africa in seeking the leadership that will drive the growth we need to really take off. He describes the PDP, Nigeria's ruling party as "an elite platform in the sharing of economic rent...the antitheses of nation building"......but insists that "citizens" can turn things around.

Listen to the talk here. 

Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy and management expert is a Nigerian entrepreneur whose ultimate goal is to positively affect humanity. In 1982, he was appointed special assistant to President Shehu Shagari. Following the demise of the Second Republic, he became assistant general manager, corporate affairs, Volkswagen of Nigeria Limited, Lagos, 1983-93.

Utomi co-founded the Lagos Business School, now Pan African University in 1994 with the Opus Dei, a Catholic religious group. He was scholar-in-residence, American University, Washington DC, USA, 1996 and research associate, the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 1996. He coordinated the establishment of several civil society groups on good governance and accountability such as Transparency in Nigeria and the Restoration Group. In the business sphere, Utomi is the vice-chairman, Platinium–Habib Bank. He is an accomplished columnist, and chairman, BusinessDay Media Limited and creator of Patito's Gang, a television talk show. Utomi has published several books on political economy and management. He was a presidential candidate in the 2007 elections in Nigeria and is again standing for election in the April 2011 polls.

A man more passionate about Nigeria, you will not find.

Monday, 10 January 2011

TEDxEuston - Remi Okunlola - "care more, do more"

Listen to Remi Okunlola at TEDxEuston on how he took a leap of faith back home to participate in the "Nigeria project" but now he wants to care more and to do even more...find out how..then spread the word.

Remi takes us through how his journey from the legal profession, through entrepreneurial success to probably his biggest challenge yet bringing us to engage with passion on the issues that confront us in our society today. He implores us not to look away, but to stand firm and do the right thing. But it is not just what Remi says but how he says it that leaves such an impression. We laugh about his being shot at by robbers in Nigeria and cry about the boy in his hands.....that boy...! I can't get him out of my head. Be prepared to listen to an incredible story of love, courage, and believe in the future of the continent.

Remi Okunlola is co-founder and executive director of Africa's first indigenous offshore drilling company, SeaWolf Oilfields. Prior to his joining in establishing this first of its kind enterprise, Remi had established an international reputation as a respected Nigeria focused energy and natural resource lawyer - in his capacity as partner of Perchstone & Graeys, a Lagos based firm of Solicitors. Remi holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an LLB from the University of East London. He is an English Barrister, a New York Attorney and a Nigerian Legal Practitioner. In his 16 years or so since returning to live in Nigeria, Remi has participated, initially as lawyer, and now on the business side, in delivering some of Nigeria's most internationally regarded transactions - including the first of its kind and award winning Nigeria LNG financing transaction, the Brass LNG project, and now Africa's first offshore drilling contractor.

He brought TEDxEuston to life!

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Saturday, 8 January 2011

TEDxEuston - Winnie Ssanyu-Sseruma - "Why It means so much for me to be alive"

"It means so much for me to be much to be alive"....Who cannot possibly forget Winnie's talk at TEDxEuston 2010.

In this beautiful story of life and hope, find out why Winnie has not shut up since she experienced her "lazarus effect". Her talk challenges our societies, that are still living in denial and avoid discussing the difficult issues that confront us. She challenges us through her own incredible story to wake up and smell the coffee, talk with our families, yes our own friends and families to celebrate those that are lucky to be still living with HIV and advocate for treatmet, prevention and possible...a cure!

Winnie currently works as African services manager for Positive East and was one of the first people from the African community in the UK to have the courage go public with her HIV status. After discovering she was HIV positive, Winnie now spends her time volunteering; writing, researching and speaking about issues affecting HIV positive Africans. Winnie is chair of the African HIV Policy Network (AHPN) and trustee of National Aids Trust (NAT).

Listen to this beautiful talk and think weather you are doing enough to break the stigma in our communities and really confront this disease as a simple disease like all others.

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