DiscoverTED Radio HourCrisis And Response

Crisis And Response

Update: 2017-07-1410


Moments of crisis can upend our lives, but can also help define them. This episode, TED speakers explore how a quick, compassionate or unexpected response can turn crisis into opportunity. Guests include physician Ken Kamler, motivational speaker Matt Weinstein, Melissa Fleming of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, activist Nancy Lublin and photojournalist Kitra Cahana. (Original broadcast date: April 1, 2016)

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

support for Ted Radio Hour and the following message come from rocket mortgage by Quicken loans when it comes to refinancing your existing mortgage or buying a home rocket mortgage lets you understand all the details so you can be confident you're getting the right mortgage for you goats are rocket mortgage dot com slash ideas hates guy here just a quick note to say we're going to be back next week with a brand new episode of The Ted Radio Hour in the meantime please do listen to this one from our archives it's called crisis and response and it happens to be a producer Rachel factors favorite episode of all time you'll hear how moments of crisis can actually transform into opportunities this is the Head Radio Hour each week and groundbreaking Ted Technology Design that stems from and Ted conferences gift of the human had to in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise one night twenty years ago again and can camera was sitting in a tent about five thousand feet below the summit of Mount Everest were at camp three and three is twenty four thousand feet bow and some of his thirty nine thousand so we were close that up well we're very close to the top of the camp above is of highest campus at twenty six thousand feet and had two pretty good weather and things were actually out going very well our O I can come or was the doctor on this expedition he was assigned to a group of explorers and scientists with National Geographic the how many people were you sensibly for there to kind of look after the Suez Crisis yeah that's a very interesting question test that said and involves moral issues as well I'm there to take care of my team of climbers and about fifty sharp is people help us up the mountain but another climber from a different expedition has a problem I feel obligated to treat that climbers well and all with a very limited set of supplies to the weight these expeditions work is that at any given time during the climbing season there are multiple teams dozens and dozens of people at various points along the three month journey to the top of Everest it's a journey that includes stops at four different camps and so on this particular day in nineteen ninety six when Ken was at camp three stars get really windy and cold and I see teams had doctors but only at base camp they didn't have doctors high upon the mountain I was the only doctor within reach the only person who could respond if there was a crisis show will explore ideas about crisis and response why people decide not to let a crisis define their lives and how a crisis can actually open up opportunities to change things however since twenty nine thousand thirty five feet high second can lurk described in his Ted talk that he's actually been to Everest six times in their six times four times I did work with National Geographic making tectonic plate measurements it's one of the harshest environments on Earth nearly one third as much oxygen to some is raises sea level and so is very very cold I remember one time they got new summit I reached into my down jacket for drink my water bottle inside my down jacket only to discover that the water was already frozen solid idea of just how severe things or near the summit and that is on a normal day but on May tenth nineteen ninety six P's the wins were getting even stronger the temperature even colder storm was moving in and can camera like we said was holed up at camp three with some other climbers and they were using their radios to track the progress of two others from a different group higher up the mountain one was Rob Hall and the other was Doug Hansen and they were trying to reach the summit before the storm arrived we got word that they had some added at about two o'clock in the afternoon and it was really cold and windy but what made us the most nervous was at two o'clock in the afternoon is very late time to summit Everest generally if you're not on the summit by noon you should turn around go back down because we don't want to get caught in the dark with no oxygen on you way down effect Ken says eight times more people die on the way down Everest then on the way up so as the storm around and got worse Ken and his team are increasingly worried about Rob and Doug Steen above them you see on our egos who are hoping we would hear that they roll back and forth but the radio call Scott worse and worse actually the Ruff said that the dog was out of oxygen exhausted could not get down meanwhile can get word of whiteout conditions at Camp for camp Rob and Doug would have descended to me you couldn't see outside the tent so that meant that people try to get back to camp for would not be able see the camp even five thousand feet below Camp for work and was the wind was howling so loud it was like a free tree the only way that we could converse between the two tents with only our two part was by radio what unfolded over the course of the next twelve hours was one of the worst crises ever to strike Everest have been movies and books about what happened John crackers book into thin air is probably the best known the afternoon can Keller and his team stay hunkered down at Camp three the wind was so strong he says that the lady fully dressed with all of their gear on the tenth floor just to keep the tent from blowing up the mountain no one expected to be hit by storm like that by the next morning eighteen climbers were missing this guy just took out overnight there's no way they were not going to be dealing with hypothermia and frostbite and who knows what else and then we got the terrible news that Beck Weathers had been found dead in the snow to climb to come by him and looks at him and sits back instead it was a completely chaotic situation are two strong climbers taught grocer Peter Athens decided to go up to try to rescue they could even though there was a ferocious storm going they try to radio message to Rob Hall who was a superb climber stock soared with the weak liner up the the summit I expected them to say to Rob hold on were common but in fact what they said was we've dug and come down herself has no chance of saving him and just try to save yourself at this point and Bob got that message but his his answer was we're both listening and he got up to the summit ridge that scene of complete chaos up there but they did what they could to stabilize the people I gave in radio advice from camp three and was sent down the climbs that could make it down on their own power and the who the As the crisis continue to unfold Ken Keller eventually made it into a safer part of Mount Everest kept to that free access to more medical supplies in there climber after climber stumbled into his tent and this is work and learned that sometimes the best response to that crisis the is not treated like one but nevermind yourself that you've prepared that you're up to it but you're ready had little time while they waited for those climbs to come to me at camp too I could visualize every step that I would take for each scenario what would I do is carry in a breeze walks in what would I do if he's unconscious or conscious what I do the seven trouble breathing you know what I'd do two trees frostbite how would I warmed him up I was able to think through all these scenarios so that when I actually got put to the test I just had a plug in the right scenario I'd have to rethink the entire situation as amazing as he described the experience some is like hearing somebody and I don't use and a callous we all just some of the king somebody describe like a new technical manuals like you were really doing exactly what you had to do you responded to this crisis in a very specific way yeah I did I think GA I think it helped me to know that I had a large responsibility if I had just been a bystander and see my friends in critical condition and seen them die I think I maybe would last that I don't know but I knew I had a job to do and I focused on doing that The The The course all the preparation in the world can't prepare you for some things a full thirty six hours after the storm hit the something happened that proved he can that you can never how you'll react in a crisis until you're in it so just to set this up you may remember another climber Ken mentioned Beck Weathers and Beck Weathers had already been seen dead lying in the snow day and half earlier had no where that Weathers stumbled into it and just like a mummy who walked into his hand I expected to be incoherent but in fact he walked to the tent and said to me hike and where should I sit and then he said except my health insurance the he really say that the uh so he was completely lucid but he was very severely for us but you can see His hand is completely wiped his face his nose burned so as I was taking care of back and he related had been going on up there he said he had gotten lost in the storm collapses the snow and just laid there unable to move some climbers had come by and looked at him and he heard them say he's dead but that wasn't dead he heard that but he was completely unable to move to set some sort of catatonic state where he could be aware of his surroundings but couldn't even blinks to indicate that he was alive so the plan was passed by and get laid there for day and night and another day in the snow and then he said to himself I don't want to die I have a family to come back to the forts of his family his kids and his wife generated enough energy enough motivation in Him so that he actually got up and found his way back to the camp and I can only try to speculate on how he did it what explains how he was able to survive you know what its medical school one thing you learned is that if your body temperature drops to a high performance levels there's no way you can survive without an external heat source Beck had no external heat source and yet after a day and night and day in the freezing temperature laying in the snow Beck was able to get himself up and not only did he get his muscles going to get up but he got his mind going to the point where he reasons that he had been climbing with the wind is back so to get back to the camp have to face into the wind and he did that he actually staggered forward into the wind and he said he saw some blue rocks and he moved toward the Blue Rocks and the Blue Rocks turned out to be tense hope you really never know how you can respond to crisis in Toronto until that time happens you know but I think owes his survival to himself to his incredible will to survive uniform was anything I did for the Candler is an orthopedic micro surgeon in New York he wrote about his experience in a book doctor on Everest you can see his entire Ted talk which includes lots of visuals from Everest itself to dot com row they'll show I crisis and response and guy Russ and listening to the Ted Radio Hour The From NPR the are o Hey Everyone Just a quick 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staff and calm ever go to the post office again it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise and today on the show ideas about crisis and response and the times when you have to decide whether a crisis will define you or not I mean traditionally Yahoo Matt Weinstein founder an emperor of Play Fair which is a team building organization and I can ask whatever but that's a great have you know I am never out ranked in the meetings snow in two thousand a m at Weinstein found himself in one of the most remote places on earth when crisis struck out on vacation in Antarctica on the academic you'll see a Russian icebreaker it was incredible voyage gorgeous icebergs like floating works of art in this spectacular spectacular scenery and about halfway through the trip I got a page to go up to the bridge for satellite phone call and I thought I knew what this is about before I left on the trip I have been working with the speaker's bureau in a series of dates and we were supposed to call me if they needed my final approval on the deal so when Connor burning up towards the bridge up this fleece steep flight of stairs because I knew these satellite phone calls were ten dollars a minute the same come in thinking to myself This is kind of cool doing business in Antarctica when I pick up the phone it's not the speakers Bureau it was in fact my wife Janine and she said a few words to me that just totally turned my world upside down she said to me Bernie Madoff's been arrested his entire find a complete scam The The The and what she didn't have to say but which both of us to very well was we had just lost our entire life savings would remember thinking when you came to found the deed was just numb oh yeah I was really stressed sick to my stomach I am first of all actress had a huge amount of shame was all encompassing I could not come to I couldn't go to sleep without thinking about it I was just overwhelming overwhelming and the worst was being in such isolation mile and initial someone you really trusted right exactly you know it was the former chairman of the you know the nineties early two was getting this huge huge returns Madoff wasn't paying these huge returns was just a pretty steady the age of twelve percent which is still pretty great but it was like twenty and thirty percent that some people were making you know in the boom years and made off was kind of sick synonymous with bank it's a like I may take some money I'm a tough one to put some money back and made off and we knew people who have been with him for somone and you know what my friends once said If you jump up and down for thirty years and everytime we go up to come down you believe in gravity that's how much we believed and made off and it just felt like the safest safest thing to do and that of course it was far from the safest thing to do the abs firm was a complete scam he took in money but stopped investing it in the market and when he got caught tens of thousands of people who had trusted Madoff to invest their money lost it all I didn't even realize the scope of this thing you know off I knew him a couple of friends knew about him but most people never heard of them so when I saw was on the national news I just was stunned with what people in and the community of investors who are who lost everything that were not able to handle it could just switch is broken is completely broken oh oh many many many reading things online something that I stopped doing after a while because they were such violent horrible comments that people wrote on line was ever anything about made off you know that the sun which people that deserved it I'm starting a pool about the first person to kill themselves because of this I mean it was just horrible horrible stuff people you know having to take their mothers out of the nursing home because they couldn't afford it anymore ninety four year old guy working as a box boy in the in the supermarket they were still people who are very very bitter but you can't spend your whole life focusing on that person yet how to focus on what's going on in your life and how you go from here and stop blaming yourself and stop blaming him it's hard I mean it's really I mean it's really hard to deal with any kind of crisis by just saying I'm going to get through this and I think about this differently it's not easy it's really hard of course it really hard the boom and it's especially hard in isolation room and it was only really by breaking through that isolation by connecting with other people that not was able to start the process of recovery not long after Madoff's Ponzi scheme was exposed in a bunch people who lost their savings in the scam get the other one night for dinner and one person said OK let's just go around and if you have to have done one thing different what would you do differently in the first three people that spoke ole said I would not change a thing my heart is so open I feel so connected to other people I feel so connected to myself I feel so present and so life right now no amount of money could bring me to this place and I was just stunned I was still in a lot of anger I was a shame that was frightened about what would happen in the future and you know what it what would it hold me realize was there is not just one way to look at this thing I don't have to be a perpetual victim because these people aren't it's really not what happens it's how you internalize it we will all experience a crisis or not whole prepared for it can you prepare for the festival you can know that it's going to happen that we don't all live these terms lives with nothing bad ever happens and you know this is this beautiful philosophy called basic trust what it says is you believe that whatever happens in your life is exactly what needs to happen to make you the person you need to become that means whatever happens to you can grow from it you can learn from it you can get stronger from it and and if you kind of take this idea that I'm going to grow through adversity just to adversity but if certainly what's going to happen to be some that can be the same a couple years from now and most people the way they make the biggest changes is through having life push back at them the most classes everyday fact of life everybody has a right in the face right now but do we stress is not something that's unique to our generation people have been thinking about it for a long long time and one of the people has been a real solace to me during this time is at the tedious the stoic philosopher Mooney live nearly two thousand years ago who said people are not disturbed by things worse by the view they take of them in other words it's not what happens to you that's important it's how you react to it pain and suffering doesn't come from what happens to us pain and suffering comes from the stories we tell ourselves about the consequences about the future about what's going to happen as a result what happened or another famous epic he does quote we cannot choose our external circumstances but we can always choose how we respond that we can always choose how we react and yes Jeanne I knew that Bray made often stolen our money but was up to us to make sure he didn't steal the rest of our lives the Weinstein is the founder of the team building company called play fair you can hear his entire talk come on the fella showed ideas about the different ways we respond to crisis it's one thing when the crisis is personal it's about one person but what a crisis is global when it affects millions of people if you tell the story of sixty million people everybody's just going to shut off this is Melissa Fleming she's with the UN High Commissioner for refugees I'm the Head of Communications of my job is to know to get people to pay attention and build bridges of empathy to people but frankly it's very difficult difficult to wrap your head around the idea that we're in the middle of the worst refugee crisis since World War Two were in the midst of a mega crisis over sixty million people have been forced from their home due to conflict sixty million people displaced from their homes in the Middle East and elsewhere and because it's hard to picture that many people Melissa Fleming told the story of just one person there's one story that keeps me awake at night and it's about oh ah a Syrian refugee nineteen years old she was living a grinding existence in Egypt working day wages her dad was constantly thinking of his thriving business back in Syria that had been blown to pieces by a bomb in the war that drove them there was still raging in its fourth year in the community that once welcomed them there had become weary of them and one day men on motorcycles tried to kidnap her once an aspiring student thinking only of her future now she was scared all the time as the story goes on though as fiance boss and convinces her to have to start a new life in Europe so awesome hands his life savings over to smugglers at September two thousand and fourteen the salmon to and hundreds of other refugees get onto a rickety fishing boat bound for Italy and the Mediterranean Sea for four days day for the passengers were getting agitated they asked the captain when will we get there he told them to shut up he said in sixteen hours we will reach the shores of Italy they were weak and weary and soon they saw a boat approach a smaller boat to ten men on board started shouting at them hurling insults asking them to all disembark and get on the smaller more and see where the boat the parents were terrified for their children and they collectively refused to disembark so the boat sped away in anger and a half an hour later came back and started deliberately ramming a hole in the side of doors boat and she heard how they yell let the fish eat your flesh and they started laughing as the boat capsized and sank the three hundred people below deck were doomed though I was holding on to the side of the boat and she can swim but she started moving her arms or legs thinking this is swimming and miraculously possum found a life ring it was one of those child's rings used to play in swimming pools and on calm seas and oh I climbed onto the ring her little arms or legs dangling by the side around a hundred people survived initially and they started coming together in groups praying for rescue but when that day went by and no one came some people gave up hope and Doe and blossom watched as men in the distance took their life ass off and sank into the water it was their second day and Boston was getting very weak and he said to her I'm sorry my love that I put you in the situation I have never loved anyone as much as I love you and he released himself into the water and oh I watched as the love of her life around before her eyes later that day Mother came up to door with her small eighteen month old daughter masa and she said that oh and please take this child let her be part of you I will not survive and then she went away and drowned incredibly after four days in a plastic life rain in the middle of the Mediterranean Villa was rescued both she and the baby nicer survive and Joe was eventually resettled in Sweden it's an unbelievable survival story everytime I hear refugee story I think How could you have survived that how could she have survived for days on the water and still managed to save a baby it's amazing
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Crisis And Response