Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Reflections on TEDxBirmingham


"Rediscover the Magic"


Wow. Wow. Wow.

Attending the TEDxBirmingham event was an amazing experience, and I hope to share my take-aways with you and convey my deep sense of awe, appreciation, and inspiration from the day.

For the event, we had to choose to either sit in the balcony so that we could use a phone, iPad, or other device to tweet and blog. If we sat in the orchestra section, we weren't allowed to use our devices because the backlights would cause a distraction in the video recording. I chose to sit close by. I missed sending out tweets during the talks, but I took tons of notes that I want to share with you!

The theme for the day was "Rediscover the Magic." For those of you not from Birmingham, the city's nickname is "The Magic City" (because of its rapid growth during the manufacturing age). The event organizers assembled a diverse group to give the TEDx talks, and they didn't disappoint! The topics ranged from education reform to fighting prejudice to bravery to failure to crowdfunding to a sustainable healthy food supply. Whew!

The notes I'm going to share with you are the things I heard that were impactful for me. I encourage you to check out the twitter stream for the event (#TEDxBham) and/or follow @TEDxBirmingham. You can learn more about all the speakers HERE

My takeaways:

1. We can all be inspired by each other. Period. Malik Kofi, a nationally recognized cellist who is 12 years old said, "I'm only 12, but I believe that everyone here can inspire another with their strengths and talents."

2. We can all be brave. Jen Barnett lives her life by asking, "What could happen?" (She says, if you won't go to jail or die, try it!) When was the last time you tried something that scared you? (I'm asking this of myself.) AND she said, "You have to be brave enough to ask for what you want."

3. Protect art education. "The legacy of a civilization is its art." Shared by Theresa Bruno. She shared success story after success story of how the arts have changed lives - from access to art education in schools to art therapy for ill hospital patients.

4. Make every moment count. Jim Cavale reminded us that we don't know how much time we have on Earth. We must pour ourselves into others and allow others to pour themselves into us. Our legacy will come from this.

5. Food is the problem and the solution. We need a healthy sustainable food supply. We suffer from obesity and illnesses because our food supply is contaminated. We need to protect our future by finding ways to protect our food supply. Chris Hastings, renowned chef and owner of Hot and Hot Fish Club believes that every Alabamian should have access to healthy food.

6. Don't stop being a beginner at something. Dr. Pat Hymel said these words. He also said, "Be intimate with failure and the negative inner voice." This is how we get better. And, he reminded us, "Innovations cannot occur without failure."

7. Keep fighting the good fight. I love the following quote from fellow educator Victoria Hollis, "Our city can't reach it's full potential if its future inhabitants can't reach theirs."


There was SO much MORE to TEDxBirmingham! I couldn't possibly capture it all here. (I strongly encourage you to check out the hashtag #TEDxBham on Twitter.)


In closing, to repeat the words of organizer Matthew Hamilton,
"Ideas mystify, words evoke, and actions transform."


What will you do to transform your school, business, community, world?






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