Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TEDxHonolulu - It's About Time

The first time I saw a TED Talk online, I was completely hooked!  This was back when the talks first started and required an uber-exclusive invitation.  Since then, I've watched hundreds of TED talks online and have been dying to attend a live event.  
Today, on the rather auspicious date of 11-1-11, I finally got to go.  TEDx Honolulu totally ROCKED!  It was a collection of over 30 of the most creative, inspiring and interesting talks from a crazy diverse group of people in Hawaii.  The talks ranged from filmmaker, Edgy Lee comparing culture to jams and jellies, to a band of 7 guys playing only their iPads; from Cardiologist Dr. Robert Hong presenting on problem solving, to Sig and Kuha'o Zane reflecting on their prints and hula; from Hawaii's human beat boxer, Jason Tom, to Michael Wall's transforming the entire room into a symphony playing plastic tubes.

The talks were all pretty great, but if I had to pick three favorites, the first would be the talk by Amy Burvall and Herb Mahelona.  How rad are these guys?  They are crazy (in the best possible way) teachers that put history lessons to music and create music videos for their students like this one:
First of all, mad props for Amy's impressive collection of wigs and costumes (you know how I hold wigs and costumes near and dear to my heart ), and second, Lady Gaga?  I adore Gaga.  Amy and Herb make me want to go back to high school and learn History all over again. 

Another one of my favorite talks/performances was by Jake Shimabukuro. Despite the fact that he's the spokesperson for Farmer's Insurance, and my household doesn't exactly support Farmer's (go State Farm!), I loveloveloved Jake's performance.  He played his version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and it brought tears to my eyes.  

Here's a recording of that song from a few years ago:
One of the best things about TED is how intimate it was.  There were only 100 attendees allowed, and I got to sit just a couple feet away from the speakers.  Look how close I was to Jake's performance:

My absolute favorite talk of the conference was Kealoha, nuclear physicist from MIT turned Slam Poetry legend.  I have always heard about Kealoha, but never heard him perform.  His performance BLEW MY MIND.  It inspired me and fired me up to take on the world like Russell Crowe inspired his troops in Braveheart (although most of those soldiers died, so maybe that's not exactly the best analogy, but you get what I mean).
TEDx Honolulu was one of the hands-down best events I've been to on the islands.  I walked away elated, inspired and beyond grateful to be a part of it.  I've decided that  my goal is to do something so amazing that one day I get invited to speak at one of these events.

If you were asked to do a talk for TED.com, what would you speak about?

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