TED Conversations

Simone Lackerbauer

Product Manager, M.A., Creator, ProSiebenSat.1 Games

TEDCRED 100+

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Which places you have visited have inspired you to do or think something differently?

We know that there are tens of thousands of people or things that can be inspiring. And maybe one shouldn't talk too much about them, so they don't lose their inspirational powers. However, I would like to ask you if you feel the same as I do: Physically being somewhere and actively experiencing this place -- whether at home, at a new place, on vacation -- is the most powerful way for getting inspired. It's not about going to a place designed to inspire you (e.g. visiting a gallery and seeking inspiration), but it's rather about going someplace where it's up to you to find your own inspiration.

For example, I feel the atmosphere at the Sacré Coeur and at the Centre Georges Pompidue in Paris is highly inspiring. Not because of the church or the museum, but because of the people -- tourists and locals --- and how they interact. Watching those crowds inspires me to think about cultural diversity and travelling. My university in Paris inspired me to change my goal in life.

How about you? Which places inspire you to think or act differently? Was it a one-time experience, or does it happen all the time?

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    Jul 3 2011: varanasi, india

    taught me that we are all the same on this big floating ball of rock
  • Jul 12 2011: It's not one that I think many people here will have heard of, but maybe one that people can relate to anyway: in Cleveland, Ohio, where I grew up in the USA, there's an indoor market called--aptly--the West Side Market. It's been there for well over a hundred years, since Cleveland's prime as an industrial immigrant destination. It's inspiring to me for a few reasons. First, while much of Cleveland and other Midwestern cities have this air of sadness, of past glory, since the industrialization that made them great has since moved on, the Market shows that Cleveland is still alive and beautiful. It's vibrant, full of people talking and bargaining and enjoying themselves. Also, it shows what multiculturalism at its best can look like. Just walking down one of the aisles, you see Clevelanders representing so many different countries and cultures, from the Hungarian butchers to the Indian spice merchants to the Chinese tea lady. With so many different peoples and ways of life represented, there's a certain kind of freedom as well. You can wear, do, say whatever you like, and no one looks twice at you.

    Sorry for hyperventilating over it, but it's truly inspiring to me. Makes me homesick to think about it!
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      Jul 13 2011: Thank you very much for your comment, Anne! I can definitely relate to both your homesickness and the inspiring multicultural scenery on such markets. It's just sad that in many big cities (e.g. Paris), those markets are typically "tourist traps", and not authentic...
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    Jul 4 2011: I know a bit of a glib answer for our sophisticated global community at TED, but my answer as to what makes me think differently is India... Some of the big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc.
    The powerhouse of innovation, enterprise, self-reliance, and hard work is amazing. You see such poverty and wealth side by side. There is great religious belief alongside those who have lost hope. I am humbled and awed and tearful, but nevertheless very impressed, every day there. Every visit makes me think differently about my place and my contribution to the World, and I hope helps me be less arrogant, more humble, more aware of my blessings, and make me want to do more for others (and me) for my short time on Earth.
    In a bigger context, the scale and velocity of what is happening from a business point of view is amazing, and wearing my work hat, a daily wake up call. This is to be embraced.
    So like I say, a bit of a simple and gauche answer, but hey, an honest one.
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      Jul 5 2011: Hi James, Your comments were really nice, but this "Great religious belief" thing is creating hurdles in the progress of the nation. I think, this is something takes you towards spirtuality and inner peace, but at the same time, it blocks your thinking progress. With rest, I do also agree.
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      Jul 13 2011: What about the rural areas in India, are the power of innovation and the motivation to advance the country perceptible there as well? Is religious belief even stronger there? Where would you recommend people to go when they visit India for the first time? I have not been there so far, but I am curious about the continent.