Posts Tagged ‘TED’

TEDx MidAtlantic, Eggs, Bones, Cows and Social Media

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Been waiting for the post where I summarize my experience at TEDx MidAtlantic? The wait is over. You’ll be most impressed, I hope, with how uncharacteristically brief I am in my recap.

TEDx was an inspirational “conference – concert – workshop – performance – therapy.”

ted_conference_ideas_worth_spreadingThat’s it. That’s my recap.

It was simply great to be in a room with so much positive energy floating around in it. I’ll leave the lengthier, more in-depth TEDx reviews to others. If that’s all you’d like to know about TEDx, that’s my very best summation. If you want to see what you missed, click here to view the TEDx MidAtlantic videos. Now I’d like to seamlessly segue into a question:

What inspires you?

After listening to the speakers cover a vast array of topics at TEDx, I felt as though there was absolutely something there for everyone to walk away with…the odds were highly in your favor that someone there said something inspirational at some point in the day with enough gusto to inspire you for weeks to come, so no one had to leave empty-headed…er, handed.

What inspired me?

Simply put, bones and eggs inspired me to get a cow.

My TEDx takeaway turned out to be a fusion of two ideas from two different speakers.

  1. Naomi Natale, a TED Fellow, is the founder of a new project titled “One Million Bones.” To me, what was most striking about Ms. Natale’s TEDx talk was that she saw a problem and did something about it. What she’s doing is amazing, and you can read about it here and follow the project on Facebook and Twitter. The connection she created in my mind was instant. She reminded me of how I felt after I read The Translator by Daoud Hari this past summer (I even wrote about its impact on me in a blog post). After reading the book, I felt impotent because I now have all of Hari’s stories in my head (TEDx MidAtlantic was about “The Power of Stories”) and I didn’t see where in my world I would be able to do anything about it. Naomi, however, has found ways to do something about the problems she sees or hears about.  I’m pretty sure that’s what TED — and life — is all about. Doing.
  2. Joel Salatin is an organic farmer. Many will remember Mr. Salatin’s TEDx talk for how he described how he helped his chickens achieve their complete “chicken-ness” which then turned into a highly successful agri-business. As it turns out, I raise backyard chickens — Polish crested hens. (Didn’t know that about me, did you?) So I thoroughly enjoyed and understood what he meant when he described the “essence of an egg.” But what I will remember most from his talk is one very simple thing he said that should be on a bumper sticker or T-shirt or something, “If it’s gonna be, it’s up to me.” I like that. It’s a personal call to action and I dig it.

Voila! Together, those ideas gave shape to my TEDx takeaway.

You may not think you can change the world, but I think what matters is that you think you can change your world. Your day to day. Your life experience.

I’m on it. You see, it occurred to me that there are a lot of people who speak at all of the TED events who are busy about changing the world. And thank goodness for them! But that is a tall order: change the world. I mean some days I’m lucky to remember to change the sheets, let alone the world. Now as a rule, I generally like to set “achievable goals” for myself. So here’s what I’m doing with all that TEDx inspiration I soaked up.

I want to buy a cow.

More precisely, I want to facilitate the purchase of a heifer through Heifer International leveraging the power of social media and the inspiration I drew from TEDx MidAtlantic.

I’ll post about this in more detail in a few days as I suspect few people have read this far down into my thought-thread. But here’s the general idea:

100 People, $5 Each, 1 Happy Cow

I plan to use Twitter and, my blogs, ChipIn and Facebook to spread the word and mooooove (sorry) my little social network community toward a collaborative gift for another little community in the world.

So, thanks Naomi. Thanks Joel. Thanks TEDx MidAtlantic speakers all.

Inspiration is a happy little thing — regardless of whether you’re giving or receiving.

And it need not begin — or end — with a cow. There are people you meet and stories you hear every day that can serve as inspiration — to influence your ideas about your job or your personal life or a goal that you might finally see a path to achieve. Might be a big thing, or it might be a tiny, itty-bitty step in a different direction. What inspires you and what you do with all that inspiration is uniquely yours. With all of the new ways we have of connecting with people these days, it seems one could never run out of inspirational resources.

I say, we milk them for all they’re worth.

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TEDx MidAtlantic Live Video Stream

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

ted_conference_ideas_worth_spreadingNot able to make it to TEDx MidAtlantic (TED = Technology, Entertainment, and Design Conference) at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland, on Thursday, November 5th? No worries. Watch the TEDx MidAtlantic live video stream.

TEDx MidAtlantic Live Video Stream

TEDx MidAtlantic Live Video Stream

Click the image above or head on over to

See how nice it is to share? 😀

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