Pope Francis delivered a surprising message at this year’s TED conference. His Holiness wasn’t physically present at TED2017. However, he delivered a very inspiring message through a recorded video feed to the attendees. Through the speech, the pontiff made three requests to the technocrats that revolved around humanity and inclusion.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, was an unannounced speaker who took the attendees of this year’s annual TED Conference by surprise. Appearing on the big screen rather than onstage, the pope delivered a prerecorded talk that asked the scientific and political community to ensure science and technology played a decisive and influencing role for the betterment of the humanity. The message revolved around compassion and kindness.
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) April 26, 2017
This year’s TED Conference sported the theme “The Future You,” and Pope Francis asked people to ensure science and technology included everybody in the march towards development. Speaking from his heart, His Holiness attempted to offer encouragement about the future, and made a sincere plea to the scientific minds at TED2017 to care more for each other and themselves than things, reported NPR. His message had been recorded and edited earlier this month. As expected, the message from the pope at a conference that was strictly about technology was met with surprise, but the speech from the pontiff was sincerely applauded with a standing ovation.
Speaking in Italian, the pope greeted everyone at the beginning of his 17-minute address. He was seated at his desk at the Vatican.
“Buonasera, or good morning, I am not sure what time it is there,” said the pope before diving into his now-familiar prelude that asked everyone to, “lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering: ‘Why them and not me?'”
Pope Francis’ TED Talk shows his social media skills https://t.co/K01KmbrPEl
— TIME (@TIME) April 27, 2017
Interestingly, Pope Francis’ speech quickly moved to the conference’s core subject matter of technology and innovation, and the desired impact of development on not only those who are less fortunate, but also who are closest to the innovators. Addressing the brilliant minds with technological inclinations, which included the founders of some of the world’s biggest tech companies, politicians, artists, entertainers, venture capitalists, and leaders of major cultural institutions and foundations, many of whom were at the TED Conference, Pope Francis said the following.
“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us? How wonderful would it be if solidarity — this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word — were not simply reduced to social work and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.”
— The Vancouver Sun (@VancouverSun) April 26, 2017
It is obvious the pope chose a very apt platform to deliver his message. The TED Conference has been globally known for encouraging innovation and technological developments that have traditionally been geared towards the developing worlds. The majority of the people who have been invited to speak at TED Talks have developed ideas and processes that attempt to solve fundamental, but acute problems in countries struggling with issues that are non-existent in developed countries.
Pope Francis can be truly considered as the one for the digital age. He has embraced many digital tools that regularly help him reach a much wider audience across the physical boundaries. With over 10 million followers on his Twitter account, Pope Francis is a powerful religious influencer. According to TED, Pope Francis’ video has been viewed by more than 400,000 people across the globe.
[Featured Image by Filippo Monteforte/Getty Images]