UEA students organised TED Talks throughout the day on February 24 in the Enterprise Centre.

TED is a non-profit devoted to spreading innovative ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, covering topics from science to global issues, in more than 100 languages.

UEA’s Applied Psychologist, Doctor Laura Biggart’s TED Talk was focused on emotional resilience and various coping strategies used to overcome stress. Recording and videoing the event live, UEA TV President, Joe Clark, said: “All the speakers were obviously interesting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the breadth of topic. In just a few short hours, we were lectured by a group of people ranging from a heart therapist to an adventurer”.

Captivating the attention of an entire lecture hall, Doctor Biggart told Concrete: “Emotional resilience is about bouncing back in the face of adversity and changing the way we think and feel. Stress is a natural response to changes in our environment”.

In her talk, she established two methods of dealing with stress, disengaged and engaged. The former strategy, disengaged, sought to avoid problems, withdraw from social interactions, distract and be self-critical, whilst the latter, engaged strategy, aimed to plan ahead, reframe, exercise, tackle the problem and seek social support from family, colleagues and friends.

Doctor Biggart’s way of dealing with stress is exercising and using the reframe strategy to reframe her thoughts. In the past, “stress” was the word on the street but now it is emotional resilience. Employers are paying more attention to our emotional resilience, rather than stress. In order to help young people overcome stress, Doctor Biggart advised to keep a diary and organise time effectively. She is currently developing a Campus Map App with a list of support services for students, which will launch in the first week of September.

Another captivating speaker at the Ted Talk event on UEA campus was Doctor Eduardo Rocha, who spoke about the concept of immortality. Livewire member, Emily Jacks said: “The event was incredible. The people organising it did so with such class and attention to detail. One of them even bought me a cake when they noticed that I was looking tired towards the end. It was fun and inspiring and I am just so glad that the university is able to do things like this.”

In 1986, when Rocha was just twenty-four years old, he was introduced to organ transplantation. He told Concrete, from that moment, he wanted to be a transplant doctor and teach at a medical school. Rocha believes that he can “live forever”. He said, “We have to die and live again to keep living.”

After death, he plans on joining another body and letting his legacy of immortality continue. During the interview with Concrete, he also spoke about donating organs, cells, tissues and genes. Whilst studying at Harvard University, Rocha discovered that he could transfer protective genes to protect organs from dying.

“We need to use altruisms as a driving force and give organs to people to help those in need.”

When Rocha was living in Barcelona, he spent some time training people in TPMS, which involved preparing the next generation of organ transplanters. Encouraging students to consider the possibility of living forever, he sung to the audience, “I will live forever”, followed by clapping and silence.