Moments that matterLauren Crystal

5 ways TEDxMelbourne changed our start-up mentality

As TEDxMelbourne’s newbie digital partner, we knew the tremendously dedicated team would make ‘Adventurous Minds’ a blow-out success. What we didn’t realise was just how profoundly inspiring the event would be for our start-up mentality.


In my hometown of Edinburgh people have a saying for exceptionally memorable moments – a red letter day. Your Creative’s TEDxMelbourne marathon was exactly just that.

Myself and the two other stupendously talented YC Founder’s base our business on a few fundamental building blocks. One of these all-essential building blocks is providing an environment where we are constantly learning. Partly so we can always thrive in the face of disruption, and partly to keep us sane and curious.

We’ve summed up the five most poignant lessons learnt:

1. Learn out with your comfort zone

We’ve had moments where out strategist has wanted to jump onto Photoshop much to the horror of our lead designer. Passed of as a hand glitch, we all make a joke and pretend the incident never happened. Listening to JoAnna Ferrari describing the importance of overcoming our ‘learnt self’ made us all think, what if our curiosity was allowed to flourish? What if our strategist could take colour palettes for a spin and our designers had the chance to make Gantt charts? The reality of a business is bendable and within a creative agency, should always be.


2. Keeping questioning yourself

Many of the speakers spoke of personal lows leading to a momentous realisation. Jules Allen hit a cord with all 1,300 TEDx-ers when she spoke of the need for advocating acceptance. While this is so person, it’s a great perspective for a start-up. More often than not, supporters of your start-up drill into you the importance of resilience to succeed. But perhaps the actuality is, over resilience, you need acceptable and awareness.

This idea crystallised when Steve Vamos, ex Apple and Microsoft leader, spoke on thriving in the face of fear of change. Practically, these two speakers have taught us to accept past activities. Driven by this acceptance, constantly ask yourself the hard questions, especially if they are related to external changes you can’t control.


3. Technology needs people

An underlying thread of many of the TEDx talks was the importance of people to drive technological change. We were blown away by Jan Owen’s insights. She spoke of indigenous community elders teaching children to use 3D printers and teenagers making empowering AI applications. This coupled with Sam Doust’s academic take on digital storytelling highlighted the importance of people. Technology is often referred to as some form of mystical third-party creation. TEDx reminds you that it is genuine people who create and manipulate technology. Disruption is driven by people, Your Creative is made up of people = we can drive disruption.


4. Cross-Industry research drives innovation

You never really know, as designers and digital natives, what you will learn from neuroscientists & future astronauts. TEDx made one thing abundantly clear to us, swapping ideas fuels creativity. While people within our own industry have useful digital insight, cross-industry inspiration changes mind-sets. And It’s not just the scientists and astronauts that think so, Sam Doust, a digital native, spoke of the importance of ‘a collision of interdisciplinary ideas’. If you are stuck in a rut, don’t look to your competitor, look to an industry driven by similar skill-sets but absolutely entirely different to your own.


5. Setting challenges drives outcomes

Professor Michael Smart, a NASA native and all-round space cadet, is definitely one of the most brilliant minds we have ever heard speak. He explained that the catalyst to the Apollo missions was President Kennedy setting the world a challenge. If you pin that magical back to that call to action you see a hugely successful cause and effect. Strong, courageous fourteen-year-old Jade Hameister has a similar philosophy to that of Kennedy. Jade taught us that being exceptional is a choice. Jade made it clear that the adventurous look in her eyes in fuelled by her self-set challenges. Instead of having a short-term plan and a five year plan Jade has a string of insanely large-scale challenges set.

Reflecting on the power of the notion of challenge setting has led Your Creative to adopt a new philosophy – no more goals, only challenges. Why? To truly disrupt and innovate you must be prepared to find new solutions to complex problems. To lose 5kg is a goal, to leave a legacy is a challenge.


For enough content to sink a submarine, head to the new TEDxMelbourne website and watch out for new video footage of #AdventurousMinds


We’ll leave you with our favourite quote of TEDxMelbourne…


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