On Friday, I had the great privilege to speak at TEDxLex, an independently organized TED event in Lexington Kentucky. The theme for the day was Playful Innovation, and a fantastic range of speakers focused on the message that while not all ideas have to change the world, they can have real power simply by engaging and challenging those they immediately touch.
TEDxLex organizers brought together an amazing lineup of speakers and videos, all who drove home this message through their work in diverse disciplines. Playful innovation rang out loud and clear with inspired talks and performances, from the irrigation company exec with a dream to feed the children of Haiti to the hip hop dance crew who reminded the crowd, “Don’t quit your daydream!”
In my talk, I showed how – with a little creativity and some thoughtful tweaks – a plastic game can be transformed into a brain-building tool, strengthening creative reasoning and logical problem solving skills our kids need to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. I shared the exciting work we’re doing with our Chocolate Fix game, and enjoyed an “Oprah Moment” when all attendees found out they were getting a Chocolate Fix to take home!
During breaks between sessions, I had a blast playing games with the attendees. Unsurprisingly, the game table was a particularly big hit with a group of elementary students who regularly watch TED Talks in class and were over the moon to be part of this live event. I can’t say I ever signed a game box before meeting these kiddos, and I enjoyed my rock star status as “Game Lady” for the afternoon!
A highlight for me came after the event, when several speakers and attendees gathered to take on Chocolate Fix, determined to persevere through challenge #40 as a team! A true testament to the playful spirit of the day, these players challenged themselves to solve the puzzle in record-setting time (note the stopwatch!).
This brainy bunch worked together to communicate ideas and emerge victorious in under 8 minutes! To all you Chocolate Fix fans out there – consider this Challenge Extended – what is your best time!?
It was a thrill to be part of this event and spend the day surround by amazing innovators and big dreamers – serious brain candy! To see a complete list of speakers, click here.
TEDxLex talks should be posted on YouTube shortly, and I’ll be sure to share a link once they are up!