Three Days at TED Women

I had the privilege of attending TED Women this fall. It was a very different experience from TED Summit 2016, but was equally mentally exhausting.

Registration at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

I participated in a pre-conference workshop with the Brightline Initiative, which was worth the entire trip. We focused on why organizations struggle to move from strategy ideation to strategy execution.

Workshop: Why great ideas fail and how to make sure they don’t at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Stacie McChesney / TED

On stage happened in the historic Orpheum Theatre. Soooooo beautiful.

TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

That head with glasses? That’s me. Oh yes, Chris Anderson is in front of me. We had a lovely chat about our TEDxPlanoSalon series.

TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

I loved the way music was incorporated throughout the program. It brought a uniqueness of the host city into the overall program.

Will Smith performs at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Stacie McChesney / TED

 

The Pinettes Brass Band perform at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Stacie McChesney / TED

Some of my favorite Talks – Wendy Suszuki is a brain researcher who shared the literal impact of exercise on the brain. (PS – It’s good news for those of us who like to move about!)

Wendy Suzuki speaks at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, who is pioneering remote surgery. For some reason, I’m very interested in medical research and innovation right now.

Nadine Hachach-Haram speaks at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

TED Women hosted an entire round of “Duets” – two speakers. These were fascinating and all very different. I particularly loved the mother-son relationship on display between Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas. Endearing and enjoyable, plus both are talented photographers and I was moved by their art.

Deborah Willis & Hank Willis Thomas speak at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Stacie McChesney / TED

This young woman (JUST 16!!!) is amazing. I don’t want to spoil her Talk, but check it out when it releases. She’s an innovator.

Anushka Naiknaware speaks at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Yet another health related talk that moved me: Dixon Chibanda is addressing mental health issues by leveraging a built in trusted community: Grandmas. He reminded me that personal connections are deeply important.

Dixon Chibanda speaks at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Dr. Susan David discussed the importance of emotional agility.

Dr. Susan David speaks at TEDWomen 2017 Ñ Bridges, November 1-3, 2017, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Stacie McChesney / TED

TED does a superb job of surfacing ideas we might not normally give attention to, and puts attendees in an environment where they have no choice but TO give attention. It seems to me that much good would come of learning to listen to one another. We don’t have to agree, and we don’t have to have a goal of reaching utopia, to make progress towards a more cooperative society.

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