November 08, 2016

Spread love

 - about leadership in the digital age

A post about not using the language of the bully but about finding our own language.

I had the luxury of attending TEDxBerlin today, November 8.

I was here for something else but I happened to get a ticket for TEDxBerlin. Topic suited me well: 

Leading in the Digital Age. 

They were all good  talks, but there were a couple that stood out even more.

Kübra Gümüsay talked about internet trolls and bullies, a hot topic not just November 8 but in today's world.

 The title of the TEDxBerlin Talk? Organised Love, a talk about Internet hate and how to break the pattern and push our own agenda - about organised love, about showing what kind of world we want. The TEDx talk did really strike a chord because of all the discussions I have had lately, not the least in the tech area, around diversity, around online forums.

We need to create an environment of trust, where everyone feel comfortable to express themselves and discuss - especially important to me, I believe this to be absolutely critical to achieve success - of any kind. The speaker, Kübra Gümüsay (link to her twitter account), is a well known journalist and blogger in/from Germany, who fights racism, discusses feminism, populism and is involved in politics - in short, someone who can really make a difference, and she does' all the time, because, as she said:
"Silence in the face of hatred is approval"  
We cannot sit quiet, we have to respond, and Kübra Gümüsay made a very important point: WE choose HOW we respond - constructive, or just by cleaning up and defending. She suggests that from now on, let it be about love, let us push a different agenda, set an example, lead. Kübra Gümüsay suggested organised love as an antidote against Internet hate, turning a bad situation into something positive. The TEDx talk did to me what a TEDx talk is supposed to do - it made me think.

I am taking Kübra Gümüsay's talk with me, and will, over the weeks and months that come, consider how I can integrate her ideas into my own life, into how I respond to the Internet trolls and how I can help making others feel safe, and how I can help encouraging minorities and women to speak their mind, I so often meet people who feel they can't, for whatever reason - and that is never OK.

We decide what type of society we want and I want an open and friendly society where we can, as Gümüsay, the German journalist and blogger suggested, disagree but disagree in a friendly and respectful way, where we can discuss and where we can have friendly argument, where everyone feel safe to express their opinion.

As a bonus, it fosters innovation. For innovation to work people have to dare to question, dare to ask, dare to test new things.

And I love innovation. It was after all what I really was in Berlin for - I was in Berlin for  FirebaseDevSummit and later in the week for Devfest Berlin - TEDx was a bonus, but what a bonus.


Update November 11: Regardless of what's happening in the political world right now, or maybe thanks to what's happening, it is even more important to respond back in our own language, to not use the same language as the bully, and the same tricks. It is not the kind of world we want, is it? 

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