Wednesday, March 6, 2013

tedactive 2013 | top talks

i had the immense pleasure of attending tedactive again this year. this was my third active, which makes me a "veteran." (i'm not sure i've ever been deemed a veteran in anything. i think i'm too young for that.) i even got to go to a veterans toast. lol. it's funny to think about this because it was only two years ago when i had my first tedactive experience. i left with my eyes wide open, mind blown open, and heart filled to the brim, and now, i welcome first-timers to experience their first in the same way.

in fact, it's hard to believe that it was only a few days ago that i was hugging people farewell. it feels like half a lifetime has passed by already. honestly, it's been harder to adjust back to work/home life this time around. i miss the tedactive community. i miss who i am in that space. i miss the connections that get forged instantly through a smile and a simple ask  ("what do you love?"). i miss these things. badly.

so to memorialize my favorite talks of this year, i'm posting them here with a quick comment on why i loved them so much. thankfully, some of these are already available online. please don't miss any of them! 
  1. Ron Finley (renegade gardener): “plant some shit” - he was so unTED-like, which charmed me all the more. He wasn’t about all of the hype, starting a non-profit, or any of that…he just does what he knows is right. Easy. I felt like he was the most real speaker this year. 
  2. Phil Hansen (multimedia artist): blew me away with the destruction of his artwork, displayed as artwork. I just loved how he incorporated time as a element of his art. 
  3. Allan Savory (grassland ecosystem pioneer): his vulnerability struck a deep chord in me. He was the cause of 40,000 elephants getting destroyed, and now he lives towards creating something generations after us will enjoy. He seemed to have one of the most feasible, realistic  action steps that we can take to preserve the grasslands. And yet, I feel like he will get a lot of resistance b/c his idea is prophetic and disruptive to our status quo.
  4. Amanda Palmer (musician): she’s lives in a fearless way. I love how her pursuit of “letting people pay for music” challenges my worldview. 
  5. Hyeonseo Lee (North Korean activist): I saw my mother in one of the pictures she displayed of the North Koreans in the Chinese prison. (The woman wasn't really my mother, but someone who could've be.) I just felt a deep sadness and connection to her story and to the many stories intimately tied to my ancestry. 
  6. Dan Pallotta (charity defender): I so resonated with his message and how I’ve experienced it to be true at HopeLab. We, the people, desperately need a new view of the non-profit sector. 
  7. Shane Koyczan (poet): OMG. I cried after Shane and Hyeonseo’s talks.
Extra Credit: Julia Sweeney (comedian): she so artfully made fun of all the seriousness of TED and helped me erupt into laughter (after a bit of shock).

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