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TEDx talks emphasize forward thinking

TEDx talks emphasize forward thinking


"FLUX: A Continuous Moving On" was the topic for the 2020 speaker presentations during the TEDx Hieronymus Park event in Hamilton on Friday.

“Welcome to something special, welcome to TEDx” said the start-up video. “People gather to hear the best ideas. More than 3,000 events are held every year in 170 countries.”

Lead organizer Naomi Gary welcomed the 150-member audience and said she went to Scotland and attended TED workshops to be allowed to have a bigger audience for Hamilton's second year of hosting the event.

“Ideas worth spreading are definitely spreading,” Gary said.

The first speaker Mark Albert, educator for 27 years, shared about how preparing youth for the future begins with teaching intention in his talk “It’s Time We Teach This in School.”

He teaches key components of budgeting, character and leadership development with a goal of preparing students.

He said using time wisely is important.

“We all have 168 hours in a week,” Albert said.

Teens spend 50 hours a week sleeping and 38 hours in school leaving them 80 hours of discretionary time. Forty hours may go to after school activities, jobs and homework then there are 40 hours remaining.

“I ask my students ‘what are you doing with this time each week to get you from where you are to where you want to be?’” Albert said. “The answers vary but most use it for entertainment.”

He compared eating Mountain Dew and Skittles to unchecked hours on social media, gaming addictions and binge-watching Netflix.

“It is unhealthy and allows anxiety and depression to take root,” Albert said. “Kids are afraid of two things, the fear of missing out and being off-line. According to the Jason Foundation we lose 130 young people to suicide each week.”

Albert said being more intentional on the use of their time can save lives.

“Teaching kids about saving, budgeting and investing their money can save their lives, after all the leading cause of divorce and suicide is money problem,” he said. “The earlier we can build money skills in kids the less likely they are to experience these negative events.”

He teaches a personal finance class where students learn about savings, investing, insurance and taxes, and it is required for graduation at Hamilton High School.

“As author Steven Covey suggests, ‘They realize the value of beginning with the end in mind,’” Albert said. “And as financial expert Dave Ramsey recommends, ‘they decide where every dollar will go before the month begins.’ This allows students to see budgeting as a way to limit stress and envision a debt-free future.”

Second speaker Roger Laferriere, Rocky Mountain Laboratories Emergency Prepared Coordinator, said in an emergency (natural or personal disaster) remember to talk to the hand in his speech on “Emergency Preparedness.”

He served in the Coast Guard for 24-years and was incident commander for Hurricane Katrina, rescuing 33,000 stranded survivors, and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the largest environmental cleanup in the history of the United States.

He said the stress and volume of information forced him to create five critical success factors to help him focus.

“We call it the hand model, so when you’re in a disaster talk to the hand,” Laferriere said. “Five steps to survival.”

Take care of yourself, take care of the incident, take care of the leaders, take care of stakeholders and take care of the media.

Laferriere said the palm is the most important part and that represents you.

“Even in a personal disaster you need to take care of yourself,” he said. “The thumb is about taking care of the people helping in the disaster, the responders.”

Make sure they have water, resources and emotional support to get the job done.

“The pointer finger is taking care of the incident, let’s get the job done,” Laferriere said. “Let’s rescue people, let’s put out the fire or let’s clean up the oil spill.”

Laferriere said the first step of taking care of yourself is key. Make sure you get to safety, eat, sleep, rest and get counseling if needed.

The next group of people to help are your family represented by your thumb.

“They may need rescuing as well,” Laferriere said. “Make sure they are sleeping and getting the right food and exercise and don’t underestimate the power of hugs.”

He recommended developing an action list, a check list to help you work ahead of the need as well as, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

“Do as much of that planning that you can ahead of time before something happens,” Laferriere said. “Have a serious talk with your family, have that ‘what if’ talk.”

The third finger, the middle finger, is a reminder to take care of the boss, your workplace and to use the resources available to you at your place of employment.

The ring finger represents the community, your marriage, close friends and extended family.

“In a disaster, these people are also in a boat, maybe not the same boat, and they want to help you out,” Laferriere said. “They are a tremendous resource.”

The small finger represents the media, social media and the social network. He advised everyone to tell your story before someone else does. Recruit technology users and helpers – often some of the people listed on the ring finger group.

“Talk to the hand,” he said, “and most importantly take care of yourself.”

Other speakers were Ma Yansong,  Tara Walker Lyons,  Andrea Marzi, Ph.D., Sam Kern, Seth Galewyrick, Tshering Tobgay, James Veitch, KJ Kahnle, Megan Oldenstadt, Bryan Dufresne, Kirsten Tynan, Ryan Wetzel, Pico Iyerand and Frank Felice. Emcee was Mara Luther.

TEDx Hieronymus Park was locally organized and sponsored.

Gary said the event would not be possible without sponsors and her committee: Robin Pruitt - sponsorships, Val Widmer – school liaison and curator of content, Stacie Ricklefs – ticketing and organization, Bea Paxson – media and marketing, April Sommers – executive director and speaker coach and Austin Athman – technology.

Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas through powerful talks lasting under 18 minutes. TED began as a conference in 1984 and covers a wide range of topics, from science to business to global issues, in more than 100 languages.


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