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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

TEDxRichmond 2013: Ideas Worth Acting On (11/8/2013)

"Ideas are more powerful than guns." 
Joseph Stalin 

The first ever TEDxRichmond was held in the spring of this year in downtown Richmond, Indiana's Innovation Center. Attendees at that event were primarily local business people. In contrast, Earlham College's TEDxRichmond, held this November, was attended almost entirely by Earlham students, employees, alumni & yours truly. Earlham has been working steadily towards greater sustainability and environmental awareness for some time. As early as 2005, the college has adopted an Environmental Plan and has been recognized by the National Wildlife Federation report for its work. I was excited about Earlham's chosen theme, "Sustainability: A Mantra for a Greener Tomorrow", a subject that was not covered in the first TEDx in March.

Bill Hewitt urged students to eliminate meat from their diets and barraged the audience from the beginning with gloomy environmental headlines. Kevin McCurdy, a local architect pursuing sustainable building design, urged that sustainability must be made beautiful if it is to catch on and become more valued by society. Janice Tran shared a formula for successful world change: educate, inspire, unite. Douglas Bell shared a frustrating story of wind turbines & bird conservation to remind students to consider the deeper effects of sustainable solutions on biodiversity, which may not be easy but is nevertheless extremely important. (Dear Douglas, please research bird friendly wind turbines (which do exist), as your problem seems to be a design issue more than a site or placement issue!)

The conference began with a moment of silence for the Phillipines. The importance of the theme and true empathy was felt, especially as one of the speakers, Esperanza Garcia of Cebu, was in attendance. The timing of the conference & the necessity of its theme could not have seemed more pertinent, as we all paused in silent recognition of the events that were unfolding so far away, so near to heart. Esperanza had come prepared with slides of the devastating storm from last year.

Esperanza Garcia (Photography Credit: Earlham College The Word Publication Source)
She gave excellent advice to students to live sustainable lives- a reminder that you cannot change the world if you do not take good care of yourself. If you do not live a sustainable life, even down to the  details, you simply cannot make the world a more sustainable place. She proclaimed that it is the youth today who are to lead the world to better environmental and social practices. Janice Tran's speech and the attendance of so many enthusiastic Earlham students attested to that.

I have often been glad to live in a city with so many opportunities provided by our colleges. Our local universities have made many events welcome to the public, and I would like to see more people take advantage of those offerings.

It's my hope to see more of Earlham's sustainable influence extend locally in our hometown.
Earlham College Sustainability Office Site

Let's work towards a greener tomorrow for us all locally and globally!

"What's your mantra?"

<3

the Local Gal

PS

Wanna know more about Earlham's TEDx speakers? Visit: the Official Event Site

Read more by Esperanza Garcia on blogger and her article on the Huffington Post.

Also, please consider donating $10 to the nonprofit, Bundles of Joy to encourage the people affected by Haiyan.

Related Posts:

Richmond, Indiana: A Mantra for a Greener Tomorrow
TEDxRichmond 

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PPS

Kudos again to the planning committee for Earlham's TEDxRichmond event. Their event was a success! Kudos also to Jay Roberts for sharing the powerful opening quote. Indeed!

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