TEDx education event: Fresh ideas for us all
Our valley is blessed to have a growing number of non-traditional leaders bringing their creative energy to help our communities move past the way we’ve always done things and consider innovative approaches. A high percentage of these creative thinkers are women who focus on collaboration and cooperation as the critical path to getting things done.
Twenty-one speakers will take the stage and present their provocative ideas about ways that might help us improve education.
They’ll be speaking on a variety of topics, such as creative ways to teach math, the importance of a community-wide effort to improve early childhood education, the impact learning music has on academic performance, empowering students through technology, creative ways to teach math and many others.
“Not everybody’s going to agree with every speaker,” said Lara, who is a social worker with Community Action Council. But what this event will create is an opportunity to engage with out-of-the-box ideas that might help us think differently about what might be possible in our educational system. She hopes that people will find “aha” moments in the course of the day and walk away feeling inspired and engaged.
Bringing new ideas and thinking about what might be possible is the cornerstone of healthy communities. Making sure we are tapping into the wisdom of as many people as possible helps us create a dynamic society where citizens feel a sense of belonging to the community and a sense of ownership and therefore a willingness to participate. This is community building at its finest.
All of the seats have been spoken for at The Grove Theater, but there will be livestreaming of the event at the LocalTel Event Center at Pybus and at libraries across the region, according to Lara.
In 2014, Lara and Rolfs launched the region’s first TEDx event, Connecting the Dots, that helped spark an effort to think about the valley as one entity rather than isolated and disconnected cities, counties and social service agencies.
From my perspective, that original TEDx event was a watershed moment in this community. To see leaders like Dr. Pete Rutherford challenging us to think how much stronger our valley would be if we improved collaboration and cooperation and overcoming silo thinking.
The collaborative mindset became one of the key principles driving the Our Valley Our Future grass-roots community building effort. That effort was led at the outset by self-described “seven uppity women” who were devoted to seeing this as one interconnected valley.
The more we can challenge our own thinking about getting things done rather than relying on the past, the healthier our valley will be.
Finding common ground and working together regardless of our differences is essential for building a thriving community in which we take responsibility for not just ourselves but also find ways to help those in need or who are struggling. That’s what the spirit of community is all about.
Besides Lara and Rolfs, the committee putting this event on includes Terry Valdez, marketer Elena Payne, Mark Spurgeon, Sarah Rudback and Amanda Brack.
For those who share in the desire to do something for the greater good, I would recommend tuning in to the TEDx event — shiftED — either at home on a computer or at Pybus or your local library.
Let’s be a valley and region that never stops striving for community success along with individual success and challenge our own biases and preferences.