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May 28

What would you say if given the chance to talk to the world for 15 minutes? – TEDx talk by Ian Redmond

vEcotourism ambassador and great ape expert, Ian Redmond was recently invited to give a TEDx talk at Southampton University.  After the event, Ian explained to vEco how he felt about this unique and exciting experience:

What would you say if given the chance to talk to the world for 15 minutes? I’ve been a fan of TED talks – with their tag-line ‘ideas worth sharing’ – for some time, so was delighted when I was invited to speak at one of the independently organised TEDx events at Southampton University. The rules were simple but strict – stay on the circular red carpet when speaking, don’t look behind you at the screen and do not exceed 15 minutes!

I was last up after an afternoon of outstanding speakers on a variety of topics linked by the theme ‘flourishing in the 21st Century’. Given half a chance, I do like to engage an audience with stories to illustrate my point, but the large digital clock was counting down the seconds in front of me. I had to stay focused, touching on my work with gorillas and elephants but heading for the main take-home message: it is increasingly clear that the health of our planet depends on the ecosystem services provided by tropical forests, and that the health of those forests depends on keystone animal species such as primates and elephants, who prune the trees, create light-gaps, spread tonnes of manure and disperse the seeds that will grow into the trees of tomorrow. Ergo, if you value the forests, then you must protect the gardeners of the forest! I made it to the end with one second to spare!

You can watch the complete TEDx talk by Ian Redmond below.

 As featured in the TEDx talk don’t miss the opportunity to have your own immersive experience with mountain gorillas, expertly guided by Ian Redmond himself, via a vEcotour of the Virunga Mountains here.

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