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A quick round-up on my TEDx Barcelona experience yesterday. It’s a bit of a long read but I promise this is totally worth.


Opening up with neuroscience and technology, the words and fascination caught me right from the start. It was perfect. Tremendous projects and ideas, inspiring people, even more inspiring lessons.

If I could describe Part I in few words, I’d say: We are science, science is everywhere, basic science as much as applied science. They are a way of becoming better ourselves, not in the physical sense but in a way of giving back as well, helping others, letting everyone find a better version of themselves.

Innovation is not about solo genius, it’s about collective genius. We must always look for ways to work together in order to help this world we live in some way.

The same happens with wisdom: collective wisdom. Much like the web, the big data: that endless tailed abstract mass of collective wisdom full of diversity and quality. It’s empowering. And it’s beautiful, like us humans should embrace diversity and quality too.

Interestingly, data came next explained as experiences and the ways in which data is being transformed into experiences. Why? In order to understand what’s around us. All those numbers and statistics should make us feel something. Hunger, poverty, crime. Beyond news from afar, they should make us feel more, so we could understand better, which would make us more empathic of other’s problems and circumstances. So many ways to help.

Finally from Part I, a huge lesson came to stage: we have to listen to our children, to their emotions. We must not try to change them but to see their perspective instead. We’ve all been there, but seems like we forgot along the way to adulthood. People doesn’t stop learning as they grow up…they just lost curiosity somewhere.

The main dough for this huge pizza we live in is one: RESPECT.


Part II begins with an incredible talk on examples of some people’s lives. People in need, that is. On how we, feeling creative and curious about our own journey, must create social businesses that give back. Made me think of my own idea right here which can totally do that. Inspiring.

On the recent events in Nepal, an expert who has lived and worked for this country during the last 40 years of his life, said: «Naively, as a youngster, I wanted to go help and change Nepal. Instead, Nepal changed me. And it was the best thing ever.»

Gaps create opportunities. There must transparency and accountability. Opportunities are born in change.

With this came a powerful talk on vulnerability afterwards. On connection, worthiness and wholeheartedness. On how courage (from the latin word «Cor») means who are you with your whole heart. And how shame and fear is the sense of not being worthy of connection or worthiness…the awful place were dreams are paused or killed. Vulnerability instead, is the birthplace of joy and creativity, if we let it. This talk is here, in case you’re interested.

We must find our truth and let it speak. We must embrace who we really are.

Part II then evolved into one of the most wonderful metaphors and analogies I’ve heard and felt in a while. A professional ice-breaker, as in literally ice-breaking through the coldest corners on Earth. A job that seeks death in order to find life, but more than that, a job (if a job at all) which has huge parallelisms with life. When do we have the courage to break the ice? To pull that heavy sleigh and when to know when things must be let go in order to continue the journey, our journey?

The less we have, the better we move.

When we have no options, we have no limits.

We must find our own North Pole. Whatever works for you, do it, go find it. Work on your garden, read a book, travel, take a big leap. In every one of this there is the place where we will find ourselves over and over again: SILENCE.

And last but not least, another magnificent and overwhelming lesson from children. Children can change the world too. We are what we were back then. Our deepest dreams were within us since childhood. Sometimes, we loose it on the way. And we must go find it and bring it back to our now. Again, through silence. Call it meditation or whatever you love to do in order to be with yourself. And if you don’t practice this, it’s time.

We must dig deeply into love, into giving without interest. We must have more empathy and generosity. We must value our children’s words and thoughts. We must listen instead of underestimating or looking down on them.

It’s about feelings. Feelings must move us. And they must make us move too. Why do we block feelings? Because of fear.


TEDx wasn’t a whirlwind of excitement and inspiration but a perfectly manageable one instead…the best kind: the one that remains within time.

The core lesson here?

Get to know yourself.
Define your truth and let it out.
Believe in yourself.
Follow your gut.
Create great useful things for the world.
Work hard on them and give back.

Talks and Resources Shared

Brain-to-Brain Communication by Giulio Ruffini. Creator at Neuroelectrics.

Everything is Science by Carmen Simón. Founder at Apadrina La Ciencia.

Collective Creativity TED talk by Linda Hill. Link here.

«The Wisdom of Crowds» book. Shared by Ricardo Baeza from Yahoo Engineering.

Data and art in order to comprehend our world, by Pau García. Founder at Domestic Streamers.

Making social change through social businesses, by Jordi Gusi. Examples of social businesses in Barcelona: Hidden City Tours, Dona Kolors, Espigoladors. And the group who will help other businesses to be social makers of change: Social Business City BCN.

The Power of Vulnerability TED Talk by Brene Brown.

Searching for death in order to find life. By Paco Acedo, professional ice-breaker.

Children can change the world too. Documentary and social movement by Anna Llauradó. Founder at Tu También Puedes.


I hope you enjoyed this read. With all my heart, from yesterday’s amazing day of awesomeness. Thank you TEDxBarcelona.

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Dr. Mariana Calleja

Mariana Calleja is a doctor, writer and entrepreneur. Teaching people healthy habits that stick, and how to manage stress to live a better, healthier, calmer life. Pain management specialist, with a deep story of her own on learning how to heal a personal sexual pain, that would allow her embrace and live a true, meaningful life. (More on the blog.)

Mariana is an absolute advocate of communication, relationships, tackling taboos and digging inner fears for better living. Health is a whole. Mindset, awareness and communication are the key to a good, calm, healthy life.

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