TEDActive 2011 Highlights – The World Peace Game

I had the great honor of attending the TEDActive conference last week, and I’m still swirling from the inspiring ideas shared and incredible connections made!  TEDActive brings together global innovators – the doers, makers, and thinkers of the world – to interact and learn from one another while experiencing a live simulcast of TED2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder.

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If you’ve not experienced the brain food that is TED (Technology. Entertainment. Design), I encourage you to check out the site and browse through the talks from years past.  My favorite talk to date comes from Sir Ken Robinson, a creativity expert who spoke about the ways our education system must change to cultivate creativity and support multiple intelligence.  Here’s a post I shared on Robinson’s original talk and a follow-up speech he gave more recently.

While I enjoyed the week soaking up ideas and getting inspired – my real “work” came into play once the talks ended, when I hosted a late night Game Suite for attendees to come play games and unwind until the wee hours! It was such a blast to break out my favorite games and watch the smartest people I’ve ever met break a sweat in a heated Jenga tournament, trash-talk over a Chocolate Fix challenge, and race to solve Rush Hour puzzles!  A collection of the great photos from the late-night games can be seen here.  Here are a few of my favorites!

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This year’s TED Talks did not disappoint, covering an incredible range of topics and disciplines with some truly mind-blowing and memorable moments each session.  In one particular talk, surgeon Anthony Atala unveiled a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney (literally, a kidney was printed over the course of 7 hours and brought out on the stage!)… unbelievable!

I found myself making little stars in the margin of the program guide to remind myself of talks to revisit and share once I returned home…  it is truly a testament to the incredibly engaging TED lineup that my guide is now so starry it resembles a mini solar system!

I won’t barrage you with my complete list of highlights, so I’ll break my favorites down into separate posts and share in bite-sized chunks!  First up….

THE WORLD PEACE GAME

John Hunter 300x199 TEDActive 2011 Highlights   The World Peace GameJohn Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, engaged his 4th graders in an political science simulation called the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world.

This clip from the film World Peace..and other 4th-grade achievements shows the project in action and reveals how a wise, loving teacher can unleash students’ full potential, I dare you not to be inspired!

One of my favorite quotes beautifully demonstrates the power of teacher language, as John Hunter tells his young learners, “One of you is in a position to leverage something good for the world, and you may save us all.”

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