Four score and 12 days ago, I attended TEDxJacksonville 2013, and let me tell you it was a day to remember. I've been in recovery ever since (see instagram below), but not as serious as Brene Brown's vulnerability hangover. This was even bigger and better than the first event, I was so excited to attend 5ish months ago at Sun- Ray Cinema.
- I was greeted outside WJCT by the TEDxJax team, and already made a few "connections" in line for my name tag. After I got my name tag, that I am NEVER EVER throwing away, I walked through a hall of all kinds of boards to "fill out." One of the boards asked, "What are your dreams for Jacksonville?" I have to admit that before saying anything about public transportation (my "go-to" Jax rant, except now we have Uber, which is hands down one of the coolest things to happen to Jax), I added "Jaguars win the Superbowl." Moving right along...
- Immediately after the hallway, I was emerged into a lobby full of coffee- drinking, bagel- eating people I had never met, except for the occasional CoWork Jax member here and there (whoop whoop)! This was an ultimate push out of my comfort zone. You may be wondering what is TEDxJacksonville, and why would I, Mychael, agree to attend an event with a room full of strangers? Good question! CoWork Jax Member and speaker from TEDxRiversideAvondale, Bert Herring, explains it best...
"TEDxJacksonville 2013 is the sequel to the first local TED event, TEDxRiversideAvondale, presented last year by Doug Coleman and his TEDx team. The TEDxJacksonville team built a bigger and even more polished production for an appreciative crowd of intellectual explorers that tripled the attendance of last year’s event [editor's note: I wish I new about the event last year :( ]. Al Letson hosted the TEDxJacksonville team’s curated collection of ideas worth sharing, all branches of the “Connecting Currents” theme. Presentations ranged from Simon Sinek’s recorded presentation on the connection between the brain’s limbic currents and behavior to Matt Rutherford’s live presentation on the currents of plastic waste circulating in oceanic gyres..."
Making the Connection.
After we were ushered to out seats, our host, Al Letson, encouraged us to sit next to a stranger, and to focus on connecting, not networking.
What does the dictionary say about the two?con·nectkəˈnekt/verb
bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.net·workˈnetˌwərk/
connect as or operate with a network.
Bert continues to share "...TED (short for technology, entertainment and design) and TEDx (independently organized TED events) use the tagline “ideas worth sharing.” While ideas may be interesting, even compelling, the key the popularity of TED and TEDx events is the presentation of not just ideas, but insights and potential solutions to current and future problems. TEDxJacksonville 2013 offered a vivid spectrum of insights and solutions. Barbara Colaciello offered insight into the value of improvisation; Hank Coxe and Lawanda Ravoira provided complementary perspectives and insights into the destructive outcomes resulting from the application of adult justice and prison systems to teens and children. Patricia Siemen advocated the solution of legal rights for nature to stop and reverse habitat destruction and Robert Inglis spoke out with a politically conservative-based appeal for global accounting and minimization by carbon-based taxation of the environmental costs that are presently invisible on corporate annual reports..."
- The day was long, the vibes were positive, and the talks were life changing. I couldn't tweet fast enough. Every speaker challenged my view point and opened my mind to new ideas that I never have thought of before. Isn't that what TED is all about? If I had any expectation going into TEDxJacksonville, it was surely surpassed after the first speaker, Barbara Colaciello, bravely took the stage speaking to us about the power of improvisation.
"This city is what it is because our citizens are what they are." -Plato
- The ability to relate to a perfect stranger on a stage in front of hundreds of people, let your guard down, and make a connection... is a powerful thing. TEDxJacksonville and its attendees were constantly encouraged and reminded that we are a powerful force, and we can create change in Jacksonville and in the world.
- I am so grateful that I was able to attend TEDxJacksonville and make the connections I made. I'm already counting down the days until next year!
- "...TEDxJacksonville videos will soon be available online, and the TEDx team will host another series of related events leading up to another thought- and behavior-changing smorgasbord of ideas, insights and perspectives at TEDxJacksonville 2014." Keep checking in to see when the videos are posted, but in the mean time you can get a small preview of the speakers here.