Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Great Speech by Cat Laine

The TED speaker that I listened to was Cat Laine. The title of the speech is “Engineering a better life for all”. I found the speech to be rather enlightening and inspiring as well because she described of ideas so simple and in existence, yet out of reach to many, that can improve the quality of life for many people in developing societies. Cat Laine is a deputy director for Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG). Working for AIDG has allowed her to travel the world and see things that not many people get to see and experience. Through these travels, she has seen the huge disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Cat Laine goes in to detail about how local communities in Guatemala and Haiti are ravaged by poverty or severely lacking in resources and infrastructure.

Philanthropy and charity are causes that I am deeply passionate about and I hope to one day be in a position that I can significantly contribute to the welfare and betterment of people in less fortunate societies than those of the industrialized world. I could tell that Cat Laine had the audience’s full attention because they were silent and attentive to what she had to say. When the camera panned to members of the audience, you could see that they were wrapped up in her speech. It was evident that the audience resonated with what she had to say. As a metaphor to help explain her story, she told about the Greek tale of Tantalus. Tantalus was a god who was constantly thirsty and surrounded by water, but as a form of eternal punishment, he could not drink any of the water. In some aspects, sadly, this is a reality for many people of the world today. In the plight of human suffering, there seems to be an indifference by those in power that can truly make a difference for those in need. Cat Laine illustrates how easily, with a little bit of foresight and planning, people can help impoverished communities and people in need of assistance. I think it was a great speech by Cat Laine and I will look further into ways that I can help or contribute to AIDG.

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