As we made our way over for the fifth flagship TEDx event that took place last Friday, you could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air around the incredible SEC Armadillo venue. Drums were beating, people were mingling and the coffee was flowing.

The event went off to a jammin’ start with the Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 putting a performance on that left you smiling.

What an amazing line-up of speakers from Quentin Sommerville reminding us that there is ‘no fake news here’ –

“When you watch the news, you should feel moved…when you have moments you don’t want to watch, keep watching”.

To an inspiring talk from Lee Craigie, elite level mountain bike racer, reminding us that women can lead in even the most grueling situations.

With one world messages from Tery A’Hearn from Scottish Environment Protection Agency focusing our minds on the fact that we have one planet, let’s work together to keep it! Collaborate with unusual partners to bridge the gap and come up with innovative solutions together.

And just when you thought you couldn’t get any more into your brain, Theo Priestley challenged our norm by posing the question if we would ‘follow a robot leader’ as Artificial Intelligence is not just reality, it’s here to stay!

The power of TED really brings true diversity of thought on the stage as Jessie Pavelka warmed our hearts and minds with his views on fitness and wellbeing – and that doesn’t even cover the number of selfies he must have taken on the day! (including with me!)

This year TEDx Glasgow ran a competition leading up to the event whereby the winner would receive support to develop their idea or business. In true dragons den style as one of the selected judges on the panel we whittled in down to two finalists – Phil Grady with the Affordability Passport and Tracey Howe – the cardboard queen – who was indeed crowned the winner – well done Tracey.

Its no easy task to be the closing keynote at any event, but at a TEDx event, well the pressure could not be greater after following such a wonderful array of speakers. Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab did not let us down with a mind-blowing keynote outlining how ‘the future is data’ – in 2037, who is leading, who is following? … Whichever you choose, note; mummy knows everything Charlie!

The absolutely cool award would have to go to Richard Browning aka ‘the real iron man’, Founder of Gravity – where else but at TEDx Glasgow would you have a man fly onto stage during the after party – this was certainly the talk of the night during the networking drinks!

With all of these speakers sharing their views on leading or following, presenting a good case for both, the jury’s still out for me – what will you do?

Share your views with me @silka_patel or @Scot_WIT

by Silka Patel