Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What is TEDxABQ?

A guest post written by Jennifer Stubbs, librarian at the Cherry Hills Library.

What is TEDxABQ?  It is independent of the big TED; completely non-profit, volunteer-based, and locally cultivated.  The organizers of the main event on September17th announced ABQ's as one of the biggest of all the TEDxEvents - whether that is attendance, revenue, volunteer contributions, quantity of speakers, or longevity, we were not entirely clear. Like the TED talks found online, there are passionate speakers and highly attentive audiences.  The speeches at the main event were about 5 minutes long.  Each speaker spoke with emotion and from a strong personal background with the topic.  Every speaker was great, as well as better than the one before, creating a crescendo of performance and excitement.  Audience participation was a frequent element, including the performance art presentations that opened each session. 

TEDxABQ spreads awareness.  Social networking is viral, and each speaker presented a message attendees can relay to kith and kin, coworkers, and neighbors.  Awareness builds the will to change, and social pressure becomes the lever to counter special interests.

The speeches were all recorded, to be hosted on their website for viewing (not yet available, but check the TEDxABQ website for updates, and older videos).  The topics ranged from 

1. Advocating for diversity in and of our participatory democracy to ensure real viewpoints are represented in legislatures, but also in political party organizations.
2. Participatory art and community involvement bridge uncertainty and alleviate social fears, in order to save young lives from violence, suicide, or overdose.
3.  Knowing your farmer's purpose in growing: is it money or sustainability?
4.  If you can't learn to love yourself, at least stop hating yourself.
5. Practice handwriting; don't become dependent on a machine to know what you are trying to type.  Respect the value of hand-eye coordination as a foundation for architects and doctors.  Give kids a paper and crayon rather than a smartphone.
6. "Fear can paralyze or prompt, but it doesn't decide, you do."
7.  Match our military strength and tools with our democratic morals.  Scientists have already developed bloodless technology to restrict explosive manufacturing or deter people en masse.  We need to create the political will to bring these tools out of the labs.
8. Unplug vaccinations from refrigeration.  Boxes are available to permanently store Pertussis (whooping cough) live vaccinations to reach unelectrified communities, because preventative vaccination is more effective and efficient than post-hoc volunteering and triage.
9.  Hug a beehive and it hugs the world back: like bringing wolves back to Yellowstone, reintroducing bees to strip-mined areas provides rural economic stimulation and entry-level job growth while restoring ecology.
10.  Advocate for cross-generational mentoring, specifically for "Sheroes." Fight inequity by acknowledging differences, identify and fill the leadership gap, share stories, and interrupt negative messages.
11.  Build small and cultivate neighborhoods to remove the fear of apartments in order to solve the affordable housing problem.
12.   Be a friend to refugees.  See each as a complex, dynamic individual, worth respecting and receiving gifts from, social invitations, both given and graciously accepted.  These actions build and reinforce humanity more than charity.

Finally, an All Women's TEDxABQ is next, on October 28th, as part of a worldwide 24-hour window of Women TEDx Events. Intrigued? Perhaps you'd like to check out some TED-related items from the library catalog, such as:

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

TED Talks by Chris Anderson [eBook]

The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles [TED talk]

You can find more TED books listed on their website. If you would like to hear Kelly or Jane McGonigal speak, their TED talks will both be shown at upcoming events at the Cherry Hills Library in November!

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