TEDx Claremont

My friends outside TEDx, nametags and all!

Today, the 7 C’s hosted TEDx Claremont Colleges, a TED event right here in Garrison on Scripps campus, organized by a crew of students.  I could go on explaining what TED is and why TED talks are awesome, but if you want to know all the details check it out at ted.com (be careful, you could find yourself spending a LOT of time on there).  Basically, TED is a forum for people with cool ideas to come together and give 18 minute talks on a topic.  These topics can be anything from improving education to medicine to maps to the internet and technology to how to be a happier person to entertainment to any other subject out there.  They are a really interesting way to just engage with “ideas worth spreading” (TED’s tagline) and be inspired.

Attempt at artsy picture with my nametag

So we had our very own TED talks today, featuring four student speakers from the 7 Cs, some professors, a high school teacher, a movie director, a guy who walked across the United States, psychologists, and more.  It was really awesome.  My friends had said they were going to try to come in for talks that they wanted to hear and leave to get some homework done in between, but we all soon realized that a) all the talks were really interesting and b) they are far too quick to make leaving and coming back worth it.  So why not?  We devoted a day to learning new cool things, even getting up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning (which I do not generally do), and I think it was worth every minute.

Two talks that really stood out to me were: one by Roko Belic, a director of documentaries including one entitled HAPPY.  So, he spoke about the research that went into the documentary—basically, trying to understand what makes people happy (and apparently being happy is good for your health!)  He was a really awesome speaker and his experiences were just really fun to listen to, and I gleaned that having a connected community with caring people, doing what you genuinely like, making the small things count, and living with purpose are some of the things that make people happier, which in turn really does make the world a better place.  I want to check out his documentary as soon as possible.

The other one that struck a chord with me was by high school teacher Aaron Donaghy, which was about changing our education system so that there are not “winners” and “losers” based on a score, but rather that schools encourage leadership and believe in students so they in turn believe in themselves.  He runs the GO program that helps kids do just that, and his passion was palpable; I don’t have any desire to go into education (or at least I didn’t) but now I want to be able to inspire people the way he does.

I had to miss some of the speakers (rehearsal calls!) so I’m sure there were others I would have liked to see.  All of them were really really interesting, and hopefully the TEDx Claremont people will post up videos and more pictures soon!