by Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor
For those of you who do not know about TED.com, it is "a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, [but] today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages." In other words, TED is a forum for "ideas worth spreading" where each speaker gives "the talk of his or her life" and does it within 20 minutes. TED has become so popular that it mentors local organizations in producing "TED-like" local events: TEDx.
This past weekend, UF hosted its 6th TEDx. As a huge TED fan, I was extremely excited about attending as a GLOB correspondent, and was accompanied by my friend, Denise Matthews, an Emmy-winning video producer and director, who is also a fan of TED.
This year, the TEDx UF theme was breakthroughs, and the 10 UF speakers did not disappoint. All were inspiring and eye-opening as they told about breakthroughs happening here in Hogtown:
> From Vivian Filer's activist tales about tearing down the walls of segregation when, as one example, African American patients were all housed together in one small wing of Alachua General Hospital above a boiler room;
> To the tales of photographer, Mac Stone, about the beauty and importance of the swamp – real swamps!;
> To tales by Jill Sonke, an arts and healing advocate, and Rob Castellucci, an entreprenuer, of the power of dance – how it helped one person to transcend severe physical pain, another to have joyful escapes from loss of motor control caused by Parkinsons disease, and a business person to learn how to be more sensitive to others. That last dance story was solely about the joys of salsa dancing and ended with an on-stage marriage proposal – probably the first TED marriage proposal ever.
The other 6 speakers had equally powerful messages. So again, be sure to see them all when they are available online. Also powerful was our lunch:
The TEDx team had arranged for several food trucks to be available at lunch. We selected Off the Griddle and had a very tasty lunch of Chicken Quesadilla cut into perfect eat-on-the-run sized pieces. We also enjoyed a California Chicken wrap that was tangy and a perfect complement to the quesadilla. FOLLOW THIS LINK for a complete Off The Griddle menu.
One more time with gusto -- be sure to take time and be inspired by all the TEDxUF talks when they are available. In the meantime, check out some of my very favorite non-local TED talks – I guarantee you will not be disappointed: