The first-ever TEDxRVA event launched my mind, soaring skyward, fueled with inspiration, imagination, ideas, hope, new connections, and exciting possibilities.
It is impossible to capture in one brief blog post the true spirit of the day… the full range of tones and harmonies in that symphony of creative energy. But here are a few gleanings… some of my takeaways. (I’m putting quotes around the phrases even though they are not the exact words used by the speaker.)
From Brian Andreas, artist, writer and entrepreneur behind the internationally known boutique art and book publisher, StoryPeople: “If you are alive, you are creative… If you want to be more creative, do things that make you feel more alive.”
From Sheryl Connelly, futurist with Ford Motor Company: “I love my job, but I don’t always enjoy the work. But if it wasn’t hard you would be a volunteer. That’s why they pay you to do it.”
From designer Deborah Adler, “Don’t create for the world, create for a person.”
From Richmond native Mike Henry, who gives voice to some of the quirky characters on “The Family Guy”: “Stay with your dream. Don’t let go. Don’t give up.”
From Katherine Wintsch, founder of The Mom Complex: “Don’t buy into the image of yourself that others try to project on you. Be honest. Face your fears. Then, and only then, will you discover the truth.”
From Zoe Romano, the young Richmond woman who ran across the United States: “Uncertainty and vulnerability are crucial to the creative process.”
And from Derek Sivers (via a TED video): “The first follower turns a lone nut into a leader.” (You really have to see the video to get the full impact of that truth.)
There was so much more…
– from designer Cheryl Heller, who transformed her TEDxRVA speaking gig into a partnership with Boaz & Ruth, a Richmond non-profit, faith-based initiative that helps people help themselves;
– from author Kevin Carroll, who modeled the truth that work and play are not opposites;
– from philanthropic entrepreneurs Marti Beller, Geoff Weathersby and Brian Marks who convinced me that “they” is “me” and that the first step to make a difference in the world is to make a difference in one, single life;
– and from Fox Elementary School art teacher Julie Crowder who stands as a shining example of the power of passion when she inspired a city-wide outpouring of hometown love with her project, “RVA Valentines: Love Letters to Our City.”
More than 30 speakers/artists/musicians challenged and inspired us during the daylong event. The inaugural TEDxRVA event will no doubt fuel my life and my creativity for the foreseeable future.