TED is a non-profit dedicated to ideas worth spreading. If you have never heard of it then your world may be about to change. TED is about to celebrate their 30th anniversary and for the past four years they have convened a special gathering called TEDWomen. I have been honored to attend every year and it keeps getting more amazing. I recently wrote a post about what in my view makes conferences magical but the essence of why TEDWomen is so incredible special can be summarized in one word…. community.
One year ago I gave a talk at TEDWomen in Washington DC. Every conference has a theme and the theme last year was “The Space Between.” When I spoke to summit curator Pat Mitchell about my journey, and thus my idea worth spreading, she suggested I speak in the sub-section entitled “From Poverty to Plenty.” The title of my talk was “Strap In: Closing the Gender Gap, For Women, For Girls, For Everyone.” For the month prior to the talk I was a mess. I chose to memorize, line-for-line, every word of my speech which my son constantly reminded me was a very bad idea. Moments before I took the stage I experienced a total black out. I could not remember one word. The producer instructed me to take a deep breath, or something like that, and pushed me out. Proving that there is a GOD the words did come back to me and well, I did the best I could. It was my TED moment. When I watched speaker after speaker take the stage in San Francisco my heart was pounding for them. There are no re-dos so what happens on the TED stage truly lasts forever and can be a game changer for both the idea, and for the person presenting it. ( a recap I wrote of my talk and last years conference can be found here.)
The theme for this years TEDWomen San Francisco was, “Invented Here”, celebrating invention in all forms from technology, to solutions to poverty, to approaches to peacemaking. The wealth of knowledge, inspiration and creativity that comes from a TED conference is aw-inspiring and it would be impossible to pull out all the amazing speakers and talks from this years event. That said, allow be to highlight just three with more to follow and of course check out the TED platform for many more.
Maya Penn, entrepreneur/animator/philanthropist. Maya Penn started a business when she was 8-years-old by creating and selling eco-friendly accessories. Yes at the ripe old age of 8 she created a business plan and got products to market. She is also an animator and we had the pleasure of seeing one of her short films. Now at 13 she showed us that you do not have to wait to start a business, change the world, or as she points out, both. As a mother of a daughter the same age I cannot wait for her talk to come online. To put pressure on my daughter? No way. To inspire her to be all she can be. See the recap of her talk here.
Diana Nyad, a journalist, swimmer and speaker. She is best known for her 102.5 miles swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She began attempting this record breaking swim back in 1978 and finally accomplished her goal this year at the age of 62. Of course her message was to never give up on your dream, but it was so much deeper than that. What was so meaningful to me was how she fully acknowledged that even swimming is truly a team sport. Life is a team support. Yes you give it all you have but without others to support you, to protect you, to nourish you, to be there for you, than what is it all about? Her remarks were filled with personality and humor and I loved her! See a recap of her talk here and her TED talk from 2011, “Extreme Swimming with the World’s Most Dangerous Jellyfish”
Dr. Paula Johnson, women’s health expert. This incredible women had me screaming YES YES YES! No this was not that kind of sex talk, but it was talk about sex. She spoke of the need to fully account for the sex of the patient when studying disease. Specifically she spoke of how heart disease looks different in women than it traditionally does in men. Identification of the disease can be very different and thus so may be treatment. This is also true, we are learning, for many other diseases including lung cancer and depression. Why I was saying YES is because this is perhaps the most powerful example of why we need to add a GENDER LENS to create better outcomes. Women Moving MIllions is currently working an a white paper that will help frame this concept, this approach, more fully. Follow these links for some great resources to get you started - here and here . See a recap of Dr. Johnson’s talk here.
The incredible moderator for TEDWomen was none other than Pat Mitchell. In a special series on POLITICO I was asked to write about a woman I truly admire and that woman is Pat. I hope you will take a minute to read more about her and the incredible work she does to champion the advancement of women and girls. ( read about Pat Mitchell. here)
Finally Catalina Escobar. Cata is an advocate for teenage mothers and so much more. We are pictured together above. A short paragraph is not enough to talk about the work she does in Columbia so I will save that for a future entry. For a sneak peak click here for her CNN hero page.
If you get the opportunity to attend a TED or TEDX event do not miss it. Please consider sharing your favorite TED talk below.
Read the original article: TEDWomen 2013 – Invented Here – LinkedIn
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