TEDx Grand Rapids 2015

This year, four of the Green Cup Design group attended TEDx.  It was a great experience, with tons of take aways.  The theme, “Constant Change”, brought forth varied and insightful talks from gender issues to the science of sleep.  I personally felt there was a lot to take away, and I asked the team for their thoughts, too.

Veronica Kirin (Founder)

I have always admired TED for the way it brings amazing stories to open minds.  Having now attended a TED event, myself, I better appreciate the audience application process.  The event isn’t central to the talks alone.  The interactions the audience conducts during the breaks and meals are integral to the processing of the ideas.  Here are my take aways:

  • Build value into your business, not just for clients, but for the people that work for you.
  • Listen for warning signs, not just in what I, the business owner, can see, but in what my employees experience.  If an employee is pointing to something I can’t see, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
  • With the right set of rules / parameters, a boss isn’t necessary.
  • Questions are the only permanence in a changing world.
  • The best solutions are personal.
  • A TED conference inherently breeds ideas that improve the community in which it’s held.

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Jason Schemmel (Social Media)

Note:  Jason can be seen pictured above and far right in a red tee shirt.

TEDx is a fantastic way to meet new, exciting people who are just as curious as I am. It’s great to discuss what they liked about a particular presentation, or how they would do it if they were in that situation, or even spark new ideas. TEDxGR, for me, has been a wonderful opportunity to hear stories (and not just from the presenters) and really think about things happening around the world that you never knew existed while connecting with other curious minds.

  • Empowering, enabling, and bringing up our Teachers with the resources they need will lead to better results across the board, especially with students. Sort of a trickle down theory.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a good look at what you can cut out from your life or your project and focus on what’s really making a difference, or what you’re truly passionate about, and enjoy.
  • Whatever tough situation you’re in, it’s completely possible to dig your way out of it. But you have to have the right attitude, willpower, and perseverance. Plus, it’s also nice to help those who need it but may not seek it. Offer a helping hand.

Hattie Straube (Graphic Design & Branding)

I hope this years TEDxGrand Rapids theme of “constant change” inspired not only ‘change’ but lasting change. I certainly know I was taught a few things that I will implement into my life and design practice.

So often we may have a mentality of wanting to change, “but….” and then some excuse or “reason.” And “it’s not enough to wait for something to happen.” [Henry R. Muñoz III] But “if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” “If we keep on doing what we succeeded in the past, we are going to fail.” [Jorge Sá] Because “the old way doesn’t work, and the new way doesn’t work.” [Melody Roberts]

The first step is to visualize the “gap between what ‘is’ and what ‘could be.'” [Brian Robertson] Second, “start small, and start early.” [Deborah Alden] Ultimately, “change is not a singular act. It’s a process.” [Sean Sofia Wall] And, once you change, there’s no going back.  “No one can afford the luxury of copying the past.” [Jorge Sá]

Drew Davis (Video)

Take Design Thinking, add some Neuroscience of Sleep, a pinch Intersex Awareness, and mix with lots and lots of coffee. This approximates the recipe for the annual rite of spring that is TEDxGrandRapids. Each year represents a unique mix of speakers and ideas, ranging from the exciting and inspiring to the heartbreaking and outright alarming. For a full experience of the event, check out the recorded livestream.

Here are some highlights from the day, represented through tweets by some of the fine Grand Rapidians that were in attendance on 5/7/15.

@AaronNKoleda: Great visual from Brian Robertson about how power really works. #TEDxGR http://t.co/Hdt6jC9A4s

@danafh: Judge a man by his questions not by his answers. That’s the spirit of the best #tedxgr speakers.

@JimDavisTweets: “Since only change is constant if we keep on doing what succeeded in the past, we are going to fail.” #tedxgr

@jcarfagno25: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been” Always loved this quote from #thegreatone #TEDxGR #constanttruth

@merhl: First things first, second things never. #TEDxGR

@creister: If we want the best for our children, we’ve got to give the best to our teachers. [email protected]_edu #TEDxGR