Survival of the Fittest – a Little Note from TEDxKL 2015

I’ve been following TED talks since 2009, and I am a big fan. I watched most of its notable talks such as, The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown, Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy, Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert, and so many more.

This year, 2015, I got a chance to attend TEDxKL (TEDx is an independently local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience) with the theme “Infinity and Beyond”. The event itself held in August 8, 2015 at Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil and successfully gathered 4,000 attendants. It was packed! I was glad that I got the best seat right behind the VIP seating. The event scheduled for fifteen (15) speakers and all of them brought amazing topics to be present about. However, I was very impressed by the speaker named Irshad Mobarak – who is known as a naturalist, conservationist, and an educator. He presented on one of the greatest Darwin’s Theories which is: Survival of Fittest.


In this theory, Darwin clearly explains that fittest does not mean the physical strength or the intellectuality, but rather with the ability of an individual to survive in the environment as a result of adaptation. It is the key factor in the struggle for existence. When it comes to survive, it is closely related with change. This theory is still applicable until today as the world that we are currently living in, is in a constant change with rapid development in technology, social norms, public sentiments, new demands, lifestyle & trends, and other environmental variables that we can’t control over.

It’s important to keep changing, developing ourselves, learning and growing – as part of the survival attitude. Take example with the gadgets that we currently are having. Most of us may probably move from mobile phone to smartphone, simply because it is the change that we need to adapt in order to keep up with the new lifestyle. SMS and texting become outdated as online chatting are more being preferred using different applications. Traditional businesses evolve into online businesses as innovators developed this means to be more effective and efficient.

Social norms start to accept the LGBT movement where U.S Supreme Court finally legalized the same sex marriage although many controversies being made. The reason why U.S Government legalized is because LGBT have taken essential role in the society. There are many lesbians and gays group who are successful businessmen and positioned in top level management. For example, the CEO of Apple Inc: Tim Cook, who recently came out as gay in 2014. U.S Government needs to be in favor to legalize LGBT rights not to support the “love wins” philosophy as what most people echoed about when the same-sex marriage is finally legal, but simply because it is part to survive the existence of government towards the public sentiments and social norms.

Other important changes that we critically need to adapt is Climate Change, where people support the green-initiative, businesses are more concern with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and governments rise new laws, rules, and regulations as the fact that Climate Change is everyone’s concern: we need to adapt and change our lifestyle in favour of Climate Change. The use of plastic bags and all materials that can’t be recycled are being reported danger. Notable car companies like Toyota and Honda have started with innovation in replacing gasoline/diesel as the main fuel by creating hybrid vehicles which basically using battery and electricity, to produce a more eco-friendly product in saving the environment. These are all highlighted as part to survive from the Climate Change phenomena.

One interesting example can be seen with United Arab Emirates (UAE) – a rich country where oil is the main drive towards its wealth. It is being reported that the country has finally ran out of this particular natural resource and the country has successfully diversified in tourism and financial service as the main effort. Why? Because the government needs to adapt with the change to sustain its economy and to maintain the country’s competitiveness in terms of currency rate as well as global investment. This is a clear example of how surviving is taken place by a country.

In more individual and philosophical aspect, we as a person need to adapt with change because life goes on and that is how it goes. It changes. There are many new developed degrees designed by universities simply because the job demand evolved. Workshops and training become one of the important tools by the company because there is a need of its employees to understand the new way of doing business by developing the skills and abilities. So if we, as a person, stop in enhancing our knowledges, changing the mind-set, we can’t survive and the result will end us to be left-behind.

There is a saying that says, “Nothing is constant in this world but one thing: change”. We have no power with the changes that will taken place every second of our lives, and in order to survive is by adapting to it.

Always remember,

it is not the strongest nor the smartest. But the ones who have the wise capability to survive.

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TEDxKL 2015 Stage
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4,000 Participants in the Stadium!
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TEDxKL 2015 Venue: Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil
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“Be adaptable to change. Be strong when strength is required. Be intelligent when intellect is required.” — Irshad Mobarak, Naturalist | Conservationist | Educator

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