Lunch finished, and we were treated to a little Improv comedy from our emcee, and one of his colleagues from DSI. IT was pretty damn funny, completely unscripted, and involved some pretty funny stuff from the actual talks that were given this morning.

Dr Mitchell Krucoff started the afternoon talks with his presentation about the state of our health care system, and it’s lack of acknowledgment of non-typical processes for treating patients. He spoke about his experiences in India where he helped set up a hospital (it may have been two), and that the Indians treat the hospitals as shrines that patients enjoy, rather than are afraid of. He spoke about the need for us to acknowledge the effects of these non-physical effects, like prayer, compassion, love, music etc because he’s seen and studied their positive impact. I was impressed by the content of his talk, but he definitely almost put me to sleep by reading too many of his slides verbatim.

August Turak’s talk was inspirational and informative. He spent time with monks for cryin’ out loud…he knows what he’s talking about.  He talked about transformation, and that we need transformational organizations. We dont need to just change our condition (ie: hey look i won the lottery, i should be happy now)….we need to change our being (hey look im happy, if i win the lottery it doesnt have to change my happiness). This is probably one of the talks i’ll go back and watch again when they post them all online. There were a lot of good quotes and lessons to be learned and implemented, but i didnt want to stop to take notes in case i missed hearing something directly.

The TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor was shown as a video on screen for us to watch, and it’s one you should definitely take the time to see. She is a brain surgeon, and she suffered a stroke, which was amaxing because she (as she stated) was able to research a stroke from the inside for the first time. It’s funny, informative, and interesting.

Beth Richardson then talked about B Corporations (Benefit Corporations), and how we can help support them to make positive changes for the country and world. She also had a lot of details that i can’t go into here, but the bottom line is that we should support companies who are local, who do social good, and who actively work to make a positive impact. These can be for-profit companies like Seventh Generation, or Tsdesigns, a North Carolina-based clothing shop who says  “dirt to shirt in 100 miles.”

Lyndon Rego is one of the talks i’ll have to watch again. Not because it was good, but because i really had a hard time hearing him. Sorry Lyndon….im sure the talk was great. It as not the accent either, it was the volume.

Next up….the video didnt play as expected, so the DSI guys had someone from the audience get up and join them for a brief 3 minute skit. Pretty funny stuff considering the girl had never done improv before.

The video we watched next was a TED talk from Tim Ferriss.

Pretty cool talk about overcoming fear…ie: what’s the worst that could happen. He spoke about his experience being the only english speaking child in a chinese school, and then of going from a guy who steps on girl’s toes to being a semi-finalist in the world ballroom dancing championships. Very cool talk, that for me, was probably so effective because he seemed like such a regular guy. I think those are the talks that i connect with the most…the ones that are from regular people who have irregular ideas. Of course, the super-high-tech talks are awesome too, and those people are far from regular.

Catherine Gadden’s talk was something that i understood, but didn’t really enjoy as much as the others. She talked about her experiences of reexamining how we connect with each other, and that if we can empathize  with our fellow man, then we can begin to help understand each other on a much deeper level. It was a good talk, very passionate, but not one of my favorites.

David Beaver gave what was, for me, the reason for TED talks. It was about the ‘overview effect’ which is something Astronauts experience when they are able to experience seeing the real Earth for the first time rather than the Earth in pictures. This effect has been incorrectly described as a euphoric experience. This is a possible component of the overview effect, but not in all cases, and not the main point. Astronauts and private citizens alike who have experienced this have unanimously opined that they believe it would change the world profoundly if everyone was able to experience it first hand. He also talked about the private space-travel industry, and how it’s coming whether we like it or not. Virgin Galactic will be taking a few hundred people next year, and then they are planning on taking 10,000 by 5 years time, and 100,000 by 10 years from now. That’s a whole lot of people who’ll get a personal experience with looking at the Earth as a whole, rather than a divided world. The first Islamic astronaut said that on their first day in space, they pointed at their own country. Their 2nd day they pointed at their continent. By the 3rd day, they forgot all about borders and countries, and started looking at the Earth as one thing. There’s something about being up in space and seeing that we are literally floating in space, and we are just a tiny blue planet in a vast universe.

This was possibly my favorite talk, because it made you think of “what if.” What if i got to see the Earth from space. What if everyone got to see the Earth from space. What if my grandchildren will consider taking a trip to Mars in the same way that we consider trips to Disneyland. It’s about time some of the most advanced science fiction from the movies started coming true.

Did you know that the guy who runs one of the largest budget hotel chains in the world already has built what is essentially a hotel in space? NASA is considering leasing space form him for their astronauts.

Anyway….that’s it for the talks…..they were all awesome in their own right, but connected with me more than others. I’ll definitely be going to the next TEDx, wherever i can find it.

This was an awesome day. Hopefully my friends can come to the next one and we can all enjoy it too.

Oh yeah..almost forgot……TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design — we learned that at the start of the day, and it’s something i didnt really think about before…i just thought TED….that’s a cool name…probably the guy who started this whole thing :-)

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