On Tuesday evening, May 21, we had the rare treat of hosting a TEDx conference at Greens Farms Academy. Many of you probably know about TED Conferences and their motto of “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx is a mini TED experience with live speakers sharing in front of a small audience. At GFA, each of the ten speakers shared an essential and important passion that has contributed to his or her being fully alive and fully engaged with life. They used the expression “aesthetic moment” to describe that feeling.
At the core of all TED talks is the passionate belief in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the world. It is the perfect way to bring together ideas and creativity from many areas, and from a group of people, such as we had—students, faculty and alumni–with rich and diverse interests. As Sir Ken Robinson tells us, the power of human creativity is obvious everywhere, in the technologies we use, in the buildings we inhabit, in the clothes we wear, and in the movies we watch. But the reach of creativity is very much deeper. It affects not only what we put into the world, but also what we make of it- not only what we do, but also how we think and feel about it.
What we think of ourselves and how we interact with our world make us who we are, and this sense of who we are when we are fully alive was reflected in each talk at our TEDx conference. Whether it was a musician discussing how his craft unexpectedly reached half-way around world, or an actor recalling the first time she truly empathized with her character on stage, a professional discovering what she was really good at doing, or a stutterer talking about how he finds his voice, all the speakers gave evidence that we are never more fully alive than when we are engaged with every aspect of our being- intellects, emotions, and imaginations.
I want to give enormous thanks to those who had the vision of hosting a TEDx conference at our school. I was honored to see the critical thinking and passion in our speakers, each of whom showed great imagination and courage in their presentation.
As of now, we have photos of the event to share with you, but in mid-June the videos of the speakers will be posted on the TEDx site for the world to enjoy. Our hope is to apply again and to host a second conference next year. Our GFA community is truly full of ideas worth spreading.