17 Oct 2010

Wrapping Up – TEDxSMU 2010

Ideas, News No Comments

We got a chance to see more than 20 great speakers and performers on Saturday at TEDxSMU. Amid such a diverse group, there were still several key themes running through the day TEDxSMU.

Importance of the Arts
Our venue at TEDxSMU 2010 was a testament to how important the arts are. Yet many of our speakers and performers reinforced this as well. Bill Lively perhaps explained it best in his talk, citing that arts were here before math and technology, that they should not be relegated to entertainment, but seen as essential. Our event organizers clearly shared this point of view, as reflected in the great number of artists represented in the speakers.

Impossible, Not
It was clear that many of our speakers would not have their accomplishments if they listened to those who told them their ideas were impossible. Whether it was Mick Ebeling refusing to believe it was too expensive to help his friend communicate, or Omar Jahwar getting up every day thinking about how he can end youth violence. In most cases the impossibility or enormity of their challenge served as motivation.

Our Intentions
The cliche is true. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, or a group of minds to it. Clearly, one of the key themes of the day was individuals making a decision to intentionally pursue a task. Often motivated by a friend, a personal challenge or a perspective. This is something we share in common with our speakers. We all have the free will to decide what we put our minds to.

Prior to our last presentation of the day, and a performance by Andres Diaz, we raised the curtains at the Wyly Theater to see the surrounding city through the windows. It was hard not to feel that we were leaving as a group inspired by the talks of the day, and wondering how that inspiration might be put into action.

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Session #3: Link Roundup

Ideas, News 1 Comment

Ray Zahab:
Impossible2Possible website

Stephen Mills:
Ballet Austin website
Footnotes for Lost/The Holocaust and Humanity Project

Andres Diaz:
Andres Diaz official website

Cari Guittard
Business for Diplomatic Action website

Omar Jahwar:
Vision Regeneration website

David Stern:
Temple Emanu-El website

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Interview: Mick Ebeling

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We got the chance to ask a few questions to one of our speakers, Mick Ebeling. His talk is session #1 was today was about the project that started The Not Impossible Foundation, The Eyewriter, for his friend, the famous street artist and ALS patient, Tempt.

You spoke about the powerful impression yesterday’s TEDxKids session had on you. What did you want to be when you grew up? A basketball player. Hands down, no questions asked.

How close did you get to realizing that dream? I played basketball as a kid, and even played in college for two years at the Air Force Academy.

The Eyewriter is the first project for the Not Impossible Foundation? Yes, in fact, we refer to it as project 001, and we’re looking for project 002.

Is Tempt making art now? My friend, Tony, his street art name is Tempt, is making art. We’re getting a gallery show together soon of his work.

Our thanks again to Mick Ebeling for answering a few questions. If you’re interested in seeing some of Tempt’s eye tags, you can view them online here.

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Live Blogging at TEDxSMU, third session

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6:00pm: And with Rabbi Stern’s words still ringing, Andres Diaz concludes this year’s TEDxSMU. Thanks to all those who have been reading our updates. Don’t forget to comment, and to carry on your own TEDx experience, at future conferences, or better, in your own lives. -MK

5:59pm: “May the lath that we see before us be one of power, responsibility, and hope.” -David Stern

5:58pm: The one voice that no one can take from you is how o respond to circumstance. Roundtrip Spirituality begets the question: What are you going to do?

5:53pm: “Roundtrip Spirituality” – the essence of Stern’s talk. It’s th spirituality of getting specific. Of walking the walk.

5:51pm: Going up the mountain doesn’t mean staying there. Stern advises us to come back with the new knowledge we have learned.

5:49pm: explore the Internet Sabbath – disconnect – take a trip up the mountain (but not after reading my totally awesome blog updates!)

5:47pm: Taking the first step in the journey out might be more difficult.

5:45pm: Heroes are made by their journey. You must be willing to take the journey out. Take the journey out. Venture, as Rabbi Stern says, outward.

5:44pm: Rabbi David Stern concludes with a talk on the Spirituality and Surviving’s intersection.

5:32pm: Our final tour of the Wyly.

5:32pm: Check out www.watchingamerica.com for international news. People Here at Home allows you to interact with immigrants visiting in your community.

5:31pm: By virtue of being Americans, we are Citizen Diplomats.

5:29pm: Three Keys to becoming a global citizen: 1. Intellectual Capital; 2. Psychological Capital; 3. Social Capital.

5:26pm: Guittard warns us about our reverse Brain Drain, where our immigrants that improve our country are now heading back home.

5:25pm: Guittard, along with the Meadows’ School of Advertising, helped create the “World Citizens’ Guide” to being better humans.

5:18pm: Cari Guittard

5:17pm: For the past five minutes, the audience bore witness to our emcee singing along with, wait for it, a hand projected on his iPad. My writing skills are vast and soulful, but cannot appropriately tell the story of what I just saw.

5:12pm: “I’m trying to be a ladder of hands reaching down and helping people reach up.”

5:09pm: “I believe that poverty is not an excuse for violence.” Beautiful words from Omar about his unrelenting optimism in his battle for peace.

5:08pm: Gang member’s mom had a bible and a bottle of whiskey. Quoth the gang member’s mom: “Sometimes this one works. Sometimes that one works.”

5:04pm: Basic advice: Don’t take any gang member on a furlough if he’s once shot himself in the head.

5:03pm: Omar let us know about a funny story, and if we don’t laugh, “I will bring gang members here to make sure you do laugh.”

5:02pm: Omar’s efforts to bring peace to crime-ridden Dallas neighborhoods involve approaching gang leaders directly and asking them to become ambassadors of peace.

5:00pm: Omar Jahwar, a local Dallas-ite!

4:55pm: A TED Talks video about a Cambodian’s attempt to flee the Khmer Rouge. A mother’s heroism is honored on the TED stage decades later.

4:54pm: “If you ever have the opportunity to meet with a survivor, take that opportunity…the stories that they tell are tragic, chaotic, and beautiful, because nothing but love comes from [the survivors].”

4:53 pm: The ballet started with early stages of creation, birth, families, separation, and ultimately, the interminable existence of life, love, and opportunity.

4:51pm: Mills’ ballet expanded to discuss not just the 1940s genocide, but it incorporated discussion from the Rwandan genocide, and for children, basic conversations about bullying.

4:47pm: Naomi’s Story: a young girl separated from her family in Auschwitz who watched them die. Naomi served as the inspiration for Mills’ ballet.

4:40pm: Mills coordinates ballet performances that try to bring meaning to world events. This lead to a ballet about the holocaust, something Mills initially called “one of the worst ideas I could have ever imagined.”

4:39pm: Stephen Mills

4:38pm: “We totally underestimate our youth.” – Zahab. Reflecting about his experience that involved sending four students through Tunisia, running a marathon a day.

4:30pm: Ray helped rally 8700 students in Canada through education to help fund water wells. The first of those wells is now operational, a mere six months from the time the concept launched.

4:27pm: Even crazier than the run? How many people Ray met that must walk inhuman distances for potable drinking water.

4:26pm: Facts about the cross-Sahara run: 40 miles a day. 4500 miles total. 111 days, 6 countries, 5 support crews. And of course, 2 showers.

4:24pm: Lace up! Ray Zahab explains his extremities, and the beauty of extreme running.

4:15pm: The Guinness World Record for Continuous Yoga is in the books! Congrats Jaya!

16 Oct 2010

Session #2 Link Roundup

Ideas, News 1 Comment

Roger Black:
New York Times on Roger Black’s Texas ranch

Jim LeDuc:
Galveston National Laboratory website

Bill Lively:
Super Bowl XLV Host Committee North Texas website

Anne Pasternak:
Creative Time website

Nathan Huntoon:
SMU SkunkWorks Program Website

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Live Blogging at TEDxSMU, afternoon session

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2:29PM: John Prince-Ramus with his second act, explaining the insane modulation of the Wyly. This building is alive with inner workings that move stages and seats with ease.

2:25PM: Bill Lively and Josh Prince-Ramus lead us in our own rendition of Happy Birthday. 600 people in the Wyly, on their feet, singing Happy Birthday to the Wyly Theatre. Happy Birthday, Theatre! You grew up so fast!

2:20PM: Happy Birthday, TED. Unfortunately, before this experience, I knew how to sing the world’s most famous song. Because of the world of infinite options, now I’m not so sure.

1:55PM: Roger

1:51PM: Technology demo! A remote controlled car with a military application. Remote operation will allow UAV control from a local vantage point.

1:49PM “An outbreak anywhere is a threat everywhere.” Key vigilance that stops more diseases than the general public even know.

1:49PM: Precautions at the CDC designed to eliminate risk, tackle infectious disease, and keep humanity safe. Their use of clinical trials and product development allow the big dreams of ambitious but under-resourced labs a mechanism to develop and execute medical products.

1:41PM learning about the Monkeypox and the Junin virus. Nothing yet about Baseball Fever.

1:37PMJim LeDuc speaks about SARS. I’m blowing my nose due to awful allergies but promise, I am not trying to incite a panic.

1:34PMBack from an all-organic lunch. Hit the spot. Just listened to the “I once got caught” segment. Four hours in and I STILL haven’t gotten caught blogging!

16 Oct 2010

Yoga for Baal Dan

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You may have noticed in the lobby of the Wyly, as well as several other locations throughout the day at TEDxSMU, Lisa Jaya Walters is doing yoga for Baal Dan. More specifically, she’s attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Record for continuous yoga practice.

She’s doing this in support of Baal Dan, a Dallas-based charity that a Dallas based organization that raises money to help street children. It uses that money in places like India where American dollars go much further. According to the Baal Daan website, Lisa says she decided to take on the record because she “felt inspired to use my physical body as a means for helping the street kids in India serviced by Baal Dan. This felt like an opportunity for me to give back to our lovely planet and those of us living on earth. I also feel charged to support Baal Dan.”

Find out more information about the charity and how you can help at the Baal Dan website.

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Soaking up TEDxSMU Kids Yesterday?

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@John Grindley here.http://twitter.com/johngrindley What did you want to be when you grew up? That was the question that was posed to every adult at TEDxSMU this morning. I was fortunate enough yesterday to really understand this question as I had the opportunity to experience TEDxSMU Kids and answer the question first hand. http://www.tedxsmu.org/past-talks/tedxkids-slide-show-from-2009/

I experienced what it was like to be 34 years old and be transported back to being 12-14 years old through these amazing kids on stage. The presentation blew me away because the presenters were all talking to these kids on an adult level. They didn’t “kiddify” their speach, but gave them inspiration and told them amazing stories of travel from around the world.

16 Oct 2010

Session #1 Link Roundup

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If you’re interested to learn more about some of the organizations and efforts our speakers are involved in, we’ll be posting links here for each of the speakers. Here are links for speakers from the first session:

Frans Lanting:
Official website for Frans Lanting photography
Life – A Journey Through Time

Baba Brinkman:
Official website for Baba Brinkman
Baba Brinkman on iTunes

Joshua Prince-Ramus:
REX website

Steven Potter:
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Video Speaker – Amy Mullins:
Video from TED on Amy Mullins and her 12 prosthetic legs

Mick Ebeling:
The Ebeling Group website

The Not Impossible Foundation
The Eyewriter

Salah Boukadoum:
Soap Hope website

Majka Burhardt:
Majka Burhardt website

- John Keehler

16 Oct 2010

Live Blogging at TEDxSMU

Ideas, News No Comments

1:56PM: Roger Black

1:51PM: Technology demo! A remote controlled car with a military application. Remote operation will allow UAV control from a local vantage point.

1:49PM “An outbreak anywhere is a threat everywhere.” Key vigilance that stops more diseases than the general public even know.

1:49PM: Precautions at the CDC designed to eliminate risk, tackle infectious disease, and keep humanity safe. Their use of clinical trials and product development allow the big dreams of ambitious but under-resourced labs a mechanism to develop and execute medical products.

1:41PM learning about the Monkeypox and the Junin virus. Nothing yet about Baseball Fever.

1:37PMJim LeDuc speaks about SARS. I’m blowing my nose due to awful allergies but promise, I am not trying to incite a panic.

1:34PMBack from an all
-organic lunch. Hit the spot. Just listened to the “I once for caught” segment. Four hours in and I STILL haven’t gotten caught blogging!

12:01PMCoffee, Ethiopia, and Vertical climbing. A real pick-me-up.

11:55AMDid I say reporter? I meant insane, kickass rock climber, novelist, and storyteller of deserted Ethiopian drylands.

11:51AMMicah Burnhardt, reporter.

11:49AM: Sharon Lyle, founde of TEDxSMU asks us: what would you do if you ran the world? Free markets, peace, and pizza.

11:45AM:Had to end the laptop posing bc of my computer battery. Now I look like that annoying guy texting during speakers’ presentation. Salah’s model of goo returns brings micro-lending to business entrepreneurs in Chiapas, Mexico.

11:41AM: Salah Boukadoum

11:40AM: Ebeling’s eyewriter machine is cheap and effective. He helps prove that anything we dream of is possible. Remember, commit to making things Impossible, Not.

11:28AM: Mick Ebeling. Creator of the Eyewriter allows the paralyzed to communicate with their eyes.

11:26AM: Amy Palmiero-Winters. Prosthetic Legs. Authentic Attractiveness

11:18AM: “In the future, the genetically enhanced will rule the world…[and] if we use this power wisely, it might be the beginning of something better.” We’re talking Rain Man-esque memory, Einstenian brilliance, and six-packs.

11:12AM: We apparently only have 25,000 genes, but it can allow child customization. The already rare “ugly baby” might face permanent extinction.

11:05AM: Finally! Pictures of Naked People! Bad news: the “people” are Neanderthals. Time to start asking for a refund.

11:04AM: Steven Potter’s Evolution of Man

11:03AM: The many modulations of the Wyly.

10:59AM: Joshua Prince Ramos, architect of the Wyly, up next.

10:55AM: The evolution of altruism explains that selfish organisms, even at the expense of their own individual lives, will coalesce when survival is at stake.

10:46AM: Just noticed the speaker of the evolution of Hip-Hop wears a “Change” t-shirt with Obam— Darwin.

10:42AM: Amazing comparisons of age and likelihood that you’re a murderer. What’s good in Chicago maps perfectly in Cananda, as well.

10:40AM: Baba cites to the book Homicide. Cross-applying life expectancy and violent crime statistics. What we call violent crime and murder might actually be aggressive young men competing for supremacy in anti-social ways. Without proper fora, crime might be the course.

10:39AM: First declaration: Baba went on a tour in the United Kingdom rapping Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. This is going to be sweet.

10:38AM: Baba Brinkman. Rap Artist.

10:37AM: “The planet is breath-taking. But it is also breath-making.”

10:35AM: A panoply of images from around the world. Telling our story, long before we walked the planet.

10:22AM: “Without them, there would be no us.” Commentary from Lanting about oxygen-emitting bacteria he found off the coast of New Zealand.

10:16AM: Frans Lanting. Environmentalist. “I looked at animals less as photographic trophies, and more as ambassadors for ecosystems.”

10:12AM: Kelly, TED content director, and Reese, spoken-word poet, MC our event. Love their enthusiasm, and their progressive-thinking footwear.

10:05AM: Inside the Wyly. This place is gorgeous. U-shaped inside. High, stacked seating. A couple on stage. Grand piano. Chorus of “You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine.” It’s five minutes in and the Wyly is shining brightly over the city of Dallas, with its rays touching people inside the auditorium, and beyond.

Hey! Mukul Kelkar here at the Wyly Theatre here in Downtown Dallas. The venue is incredible! I’ll be sure to keep you updated with all the great happenings here at TEDxSMU today. And make sure you tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up.