Posted by Alyssa Ransbury on 11/22/14 in TEDxDhaka Blog
TEDxDhaka 2014 Session 2 featured speakers who are trying to make the world a better place with ground breaking solutions to ensure transparency, green efficiency, job satisfaction and social activism.
Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International (TI), spoke first in Session 2 on the art of antagonistic cooperation. He began his talk dramatically, walking on stage playing a silver saxaphone.
According to Eigen, good governance has become something close to a myth with all the corruption and greed underlying the system. He believes that by employing a multi-stakeholder approach, in which all participants work independently from one another, integrity and accountability can be ensured. The three actors of governance, the state as prime actor, plus the commercial sector and civil society organizations, can break the barriers of corruption and exploitation by playing their separate roles.
The Garment Industries’ Transparency Initiative, is one such effort to identify separate stakeholders to prevent incidents like Rana Plaza and ensure the long-term betterment of laborers in the garments sector.
IFTEKHAR ENAYETULLAH & MAQSUD SINHA
Next on stage to talk about the transformation of urban waste were Iftekhar Enayetullah and Maqsud Sinha.
Enayetullah and Sinha make a compelling duo, with experience in civil / environmental engineering, urban planning and architecture. They call themselves ‘Garbagologists’ (in a good way) and describe waste as being raw material in the wrong place.
Did you know? Urban areas of Bangladesh currently generate 20,000 tons of solid waste per day! Historical data shows that this waste is following an upward trend and has a positive correlation with increased population and economic development.
“We believe that waste is not a problem, it is a resource,” claim the duo.
Their initiative, Waste Concern, is a simple solution to this problem. Using a decentralised mechanism to collect waste from developing countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam, Waste Concern turns biodegradable waste into organic fertilizer.
“Sometimes people call us garbage men,” says Maqsud Sinha.
This is an initiative that has created jobs, ensured soil well being, and is producing tons of organic food for people in South Asia.
Our seventh speaker of the day was Rosey Hurst, founder of Impactt.
According to Hurst, garment factories are tainted with unmotivated workers, going about their work mechanically everyday. They fail to connect with their organization and the job they do. A lack of purpose and belonging affects both businesses and workers’ lives.
Hurst believes that all of this can change. Bangladesh, home to one of the largest garments industries (second only to China), can become number one in the world by empowering its workers to reap more benefits from the market. How?
“It takes two to tango,” says Hurst.
Benefits for Business and Workers (BBW) and UP! are organizations working to address the problem of dehumanization in the workplace by building warmth and competence through interactive sessions between line workers, supervisors, managers and welfare officers.
“A few tiny changes can make all the difference,” affirms Hurst.
The Talk Video
FARZANA WAHID SHAYAN
Farzana Wahid Shayan took the stage with her guitar for our final presentation before lunch. “Hello people. My name is Shayan and I am a nobody,” she began.
Shayan quickly captured the attention of attendees with her spontaneity. Holding her guitar, she talked about the deep relationship she has with her instrument.
“I have found my home, my universe… around this guitar,” she said.
Shayan’s songs are thought provoking and discuss changes in society. She touches on the deep questions troubling many of us: What is the purpose of life? Does God exist? What is morality? Is there an universal answer to these questions? These are questions that perplexed Shayan for years. Her answer to these questions is that there is no answer.
“There doesn’t need to be a reason for everything….you do not have to understand life to enjoy it,” she explained.
Shayan shared three of her songs on stage with the audience, including the Bangla song “Ami Gachi Shobar Jonno,” which she composed herself.
“It’s okay to be a nobody,” she said.
As an advocate of life, she urges everyone to do to whatever they want to do. She insists on enjoying life by indulging in the little pleasures it offers. Her last song was about her personal life. She sang this final song with an added instrument, her harmonica.