By Tech. Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
A librarian, chef, veteran, lawyer, transgender service member and a Green Dot trainer walked into a room. There is no punchline. They were the speakers during the third annual TEDxSchriever Aug. 12 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The 2016 iteration of TEDxSchriever focused its talks on strengthening not just the Schriever community but Colorado Springs as well.
“This year was the best year yet for TEDxSchriever,” said James Hodges, 50th Space Wing and TEDxSchriever organizer. “I learned so much from working with the speakers and I can’t wait to share their recorded talks with everyone.”
According to www.ted.com, TED, or Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a non-profit that began in 1984 and is devoted to spreading ideas through talks. TEDx events, including TEDxSchriever, help share ideas in communities around the world.
The following speakers talked about various topics from community volunteerism, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to outdoor adventures and libraries.
• Col. Dawn Zoldi, U.S. Air Force Academy staff judge advocate, highlighted the importance of 3Ps — purpose, pure and passion — especially in her profession as a lawyer.
• John Spears, Pikes Peak Library District executive director, talked about what he learned from libraries — recognize biases and keep them in check, assume good faith and civilly work towards agreement.
• Lyn Harwell, Seeds Community Café chef, featured food as a community builder.
• Steve “Yeti” Hitchcock, Army veteran and executive director for the non-profit organization UpaDowna, talked about the positive benefits of nature.
• 1st Lt. Heather Newman, Schriever Green Dot coordinator, spoke about labels, such as race and sexual orientation, and how diversity strengthens communities.
• Nate Burke, Green Dot senior trainer, talked about his experience as a survivor of sexual assault and how people can empower themselves and others.
Newman said she was definitely nervous but prepared as much as possible to ensure the message was well received in a positive way.
“Overall, I think the event went really well. I have never been to a TEDx event but I thought it was run very efficiently … I heard some comments that this was the best TEDx event people had been to as far as organization and efficiency. I was also really impressed with the speakers, there were a lot of good ideas shared and I think they all tied together really nicely and with the theme,” Newman said.
Tech. Sgt. Thomas Locke, 50th Space Communications Squadron, attended the event and said it was moving and inspiring. He wished more people could have experienced it.
“I learned more about some of the meaningful work people are doing in Colorado Springs,” he said. “I especially liked the talk from Steve on UpaDowna and connecting with nature as a means of therapy and Chef Lyn’s talk about SEEDS cooperative kitchen and how it’s making a difference in food culture, health and civic outreach.”
Hodges said the TEDxSchriever team plans on producing another event in 2017.
“After the success of this year, we are hoping to keep the momentum going and continue to get Team Schriever sharing ideas and talking about important issues to the base,” he concluded. “We are working on having several smaller events throughout the year for TEDTalks and discussions with our main event, TEDxSchriever, in August again.”
About TEDx, x = independently organized event. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations)