TEDxMidatlantic is now a yearly conference that takes place in DC which invites inspirational people from around the world to speak. Its annual arrival also heralds the inevitable stampede of entrepreneurs, techies, the artistic and those knowing that TED inspires. This years round-up of speakers ranged from a surprisingly down to earth and funny Colin Powell to a profoundly moving speech of a two time lung-transplant survivor and opera singer. Charity Tillemann-Dick brought the audience to tears describing her inspirational life story, encouraging many to become organ donors themselves and save the lives of an untold many through gifts of life.
Fellow singletons might take interest in Amy Webb’s speech on gaming the online dating-sphere in her search for a life-long mate. After many years with less than satisfactory boyfriends and abysmal dates, she turned her back on her family’s advice to lower her standards and set out to gather reams of data. After writing epic lists (many of which were created while slightly intoxicated) on both what she wanted in a man, and what a man like that was looking for in a dating profile, she gamed the system and is now happily married. Advice … NOTED. I am now compiling my own list, after about two hours it was three pages long (and its still growing).
Jack Andraka, a 15 year old who invented a new cheap and fast method for testing the presence of some cancers gave a hilarious talk about his journey towards discovery. Those in the audience can only call find it ironic that he was able to make the discoveries he did in the face of so much opposition from the ‘older and wiser’ adults around him. It was also sadly telling that he said he found a clue in one of the most ‘uninspiring places … high school biology class’, a problem with public schools that was highlighted by numerous other speakers.
In addition to a wide array of other very inspirational speakers, several musicians performed including the talented-despite-it-all group ‘Exoneree’, a band made up entirely of exonerated inmates who gained freedom through the work of the ‘Innocence Project’ a group of lawyers and activists who who have proven the innocence of many inmates, often times through introducing DNA evidence not previously used.
I think I echo the sentiments of many of my fellow Tedx’ers when I say, I can’t wait for next year!
We can only hold our breath until next years conference, and #BeFearless in the meantime.
I will upload links to the videos once they become available online.