This month’s TED Talk Friday featured Ariana Huffington’s 2011 TED Talk of the Year.
John Hunter, whose work I shared in this post after the 2011 conference, defines inspirational mentorship in my mind. His approach to teaching children about complex world problems through active engagement, and ceding control, is just amazing to see unfold.
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.
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!
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, 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.
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.”