I originally thought of doing a TEDxLivermore event in 2013 while the Head of School at Valley Montessori School, after participating in a workshop for local community leaders, to create ‘community.’ We felt that coming together as a community, connecting through commitment to both how we do things in the present and opening up the ‘box’ for the future, was something worth developing. We felt that schools have a core place in this development, for our youth and the future they will be both getting ready for and creating. And we looked to legacy builders who had done this ‘creating’ their whole lives, as well as early career people changing the world. So TEDxLivermore was born.
I think the two major items for me during the planning and execution of this event were: being part of a truly vibrant and fun team of experts, and being able to ‘push’ for a vision. That’s why I still participate in TEDxLivermore though I have retired and now live in Oregon.
We have a small, fiercely dedicated committee and volunteers of very diverse talents, each coming on line at the needed time, and each contributing where their true ability and ‘gifts’ lie. So many levels of expertise – from the online ticket sales to the event manager, videography crew, master of ceremonies, fund-raiser, PR, community engagement, leadership engagement, coach, volunteer manager – we have truly remarkable talent show up again and again.
I love the ‘push:’ to have people give ‘the best talk of their lives’ and to have great things come out of the event in our community. This year’s theme, the economics of empathy, is a highly nuanced theme. It is about how we can use empathy to shape our community when our empathies are in conflict. Literally, we can see all sides of an issue and know that there is no solution that leaves everyone with everything they want. But, because we start with empathy as currency, we try to at least get our community as a whole, and individuals, what they need.