“Amazing” and “inspiring” are the descriptions that BRVGS students repeatedly give after spending November 14, 2014 soaking up “Ideas Worth Spreading” at the 2nd annual TEDxCharlottesville Reflexions program.
“TEDx was absolutely amazing and mind-blowing! I learned so much about so many topics ranging from how to cross the Sahara on camels to the NSA’s breach of Americans’ 4th amendment rights,” remarked Emily Butterworth. She added that it gave her inspiration for her current senior project. “...if a Western Albemarle County senior can create a test strip to detect date-rape drugs in a drink, then I can definitely create news broadcasts for my school.”
The TEDx event combines video, live speakers, and performers to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The local independently-organized TEDx program is part of the TED nonprofit organization (Technology, Entertainment, Design), started in California 25 years ago to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
One of the students’ favorite speakers of the day was Peter Agelasto. “He discussed a mind-blowing phenomenon: that everything around us - nature, man-made objects, and even our minds - is constantly recording and one day humans will develop the technology needed to play back all these recordings,” explained Shannon Blow.
Christopher Tomasello enjoyed hearing Dr. John Herr, cell biologist, talk about new developments in cancer research. “He described how a newly discovered protein is only expressed in some tumorous cells and developed egg cells...and how a new drug could be used [to attack that specific protein] to fight off cancers,” Christopher said.
Students also noted the talk by Dr. Greg Fairchild, a UVa Darden Business School professor, who discussed empowering underserved populations, and the performance by John D’Earth, jazz musician and composer. Other speakers included author Dean King, celebrated landscape designer Thomas Woltz, and Ghislaine Maxwell, founder of the non-profit TerraMar Project organized to protect the ocean commons.
BRVGS students expressed appreciation to Director Marc Carraway for the opportunity to attend TEDxCharlottesville. Kara Fincham walked away with a favorite quote from the Holistic Life Foundation talk: “You never know what fruits will bloom from the seeds that you plant.”
The positive impact was not lost on Michael Phillips. “It was full of people and ideas that have the ability to change the world, and they were all different...it truly inspired me to do good in the world, and I wish everyone was able to experience such an event.”
The program touched Abby Whitlock, as well. “I absolutely loved it! It was one of the most inspiring things I have experienced in my entire life.”
More information about TEDxCharlottesville can be obtained by visiting the website http://tedxcharlottesville.com/