Jannika Aalto – OPENx Coordinator
Who are you and what do you do for TEDxEastEnd?
I’m Jannika, another recent addition to the TEDxEastEnd team. I’m the OPENx coordinator (OPENx is our speaker coaching programme for young, emerging TEDx talent). In a nutshell it’s my responsibility to ensure that OPENx runs well and we find the right young people to get on the TEDxEastEnd stage in February. In day to day life it’s everything from writing website copy to designing the application process or staying in touch with the applicants and the various partners we work with around the programme. A big part was organising the actual OPENx auditions day, and with that successfully behind us it’s time to start looking at how the next months leading up to the event will look like!
What drew you to TEDxEastEnd? What is your favourite thing about TEDxEastEnd? What has been your experience highlight of working with TEDxEastEnd?
Like so many of us in the team, I love the concept of TED talks. They are endlessly interesting, there’s one around almost every imaginable subject and watching them makes light bulbs go on in your head. With TEDxEastEnd I can be a part of creating that experience around our theme, Society beyond borders, which, it seems, today is more important than ever. I get a kick out of making things happen and seeing plans come to live, so this is the perfect place to be!
Biggest thing for me so far has been seeing all the people who took part in OPENx. We sat down with our team one Sunday afternoon to watch all the applications, and were simply blown away by the talent, courage and honesty in the videos. Amazing.
Another thing that always makes me giddy is walking into any of the citizenM hotels, which is where we most often have our meetings. Cool is the only appropriate adjective I can think there.
What is your favourite TED talk and why?
It’s one of the most famous ones, Brené Brown’s Power of vulnerability. It has been my favourite for a long time now and I watch it at least once a month and laugh and cry every time! The way she speaks is super engaging and the topic itself is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few years. I’m an enthusiastic traveler, and as you can imagine traveling is a turbocharged way of meeting new people. During my last trip to Australia I really started paying attention to how people interact and make (or don’t make!) connections for example in hostel dorms and shared kitchens – and that ability to connect is what Brené talks about. Watch it, seriously, it is good.
(Another really good one is Taiye Selasi’s Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local where she explores the phrase ‘to come from somewhere’.)
If you had to speak at TEDxEastEnd 2017, what would be your story?
I wouldn’t be ready for it yet! Hahah, maybe one day, but I will rather focus on getting our OPENx winners on that stage first. If I was to talk, it might be about the importance of being offline at least for an hour every day (sleeping doesn’t count). I cannot remember where, but I was traveling somewhere and stayed in a place where they turned the wifi off every evening for an hour and called it ‘The Happy Hour’. It was a really interesting social experiment!