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Tre Borden - TEDxSacramento Changemaker Fellow

Join us for our next conference, TEDxSacramento 2016, on February 12, 2016. Register today before space runs out. 

By: Chris Brune

Who is Tre?

The Sacramento region’s creative class has been fast at work, opening doors to new ways of thinking about community and public space. By now you may have heard about, or participated (played) at, the community focused art installation known as PORTAL. This month-long activation lived on R Street in front of the iconic Crystal Ice Building in Midtown Sacramento from late August to mid-September. One of the project’s creators, Tre Borden, was named a TEDxSacramento Changemaker at the "This Changes Everything" event on June 12, 2015.

Take a peek at Tre’s talk from This Changes Everything

[Excerpt from the This Changes Everything program]

[Excerpt from the This Changes Everything program]

PORTAL - from concept to activation

In Tre’s talk he laid out his vision for the PORTAL experience that just culminated it’s 6-week run. Tre and PORTAL co-creator Kim Garza created a temporary venue to showcase the many expressions of what makers/creators have in store for the Sacramento community.

With this vision in mind, Tre and Kim enlisted the talents of local ‘makers’ Matt Porr, Trent Dean, and Nile Mittow to see PORTAL through fabrication and installation. The team built the structure at Hackerlab — home to many local makers, programmers, entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses.

[Tre Borden, Project Manager of PORTAL, and Kimberly Garza, Designer of PORTAL, standing in the structure.]    (photo courtesy of    City Scout Magazine   )

[Tre Borden, Project Manager of PORTAL, and Kimberly Garza, Designer of PORTAL, standing in the structure.]

(photo courtesy of City Scout Magazine)

[The PORTAL activation on R Street]    (photo courtesy of    PORTAL Sacramento   )

[The PORTAL activation on R Street]

(photo courtesy of PORTAL Sacramento)

The programming for PORTAL showcased some of the region’s best creative offerings. It served as a meeting place for several community gatherings through its two month run: Instagram meet ups, sunrise yoga, a local fashion showcase, movie night, disco brunch, and a food truck meet up are just a few of the events that occurred at the R Street installation. The common thread through all these events was the idea of community building. The project asked participants to catalog their experiences under the #PortalSac hashtag so that they could weave their experiences into the larger tapestry of the PORTAL experience.

[photos from participants on Instagram]

[photos from participants on Instagram]

The PORTAL activation was transplanted to West Sacramento for the final three days of its month-long run. What better place to leave a sense of community than the region’s largest art and music festival, TBD Fest.

The festival, envisioned by another TEDxSacramento Changemaker, Clay Nutting, started as a one-day hotel party (then “LAUNCH”) eight years ago. Since then it has evolved into a multi-day festival that embraces creativity through music, art, design, food and ideas. The festival and PORTAL share much of the same creative DNA and ethos — both elevate the creative class and citizens of the city, both look ahead to the potential of Sacramento’s future.

[The PORTAL activation at TBD, September 2015]    (photo courtesy of    TBD Fest   )

[The PORTAL activation at TBD, September 2015]

(photo courtesy of TBD Fest)

A fitting finale to the first chapter an inspired idea. For more information on Tre’s upcoming projects visit his portfolio site.

 

The PORTAL Team:

Tre Borden, co-producer and program manager

Kim Garza, co-producer and head designer

Matt Porr and Trent Dean, fabrication and construction

Nile Mittow, electrical programming

 

Become A Changemaker Fellow

Register for TEDxSacramento 2016

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Bionic Pancreas Inventor Edward Damiano to Speak at TEDxSacramento2015

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Space is running out, so register today.

Edward Damiano, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University

Edward Damiano, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University

We're excited to announce that Edward Damiano will be speaking at TEDxSacramento2015, "THIS Changes Everything," on June 12, 2015.

When the Damiano’s 11-month old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the diagnosis radically changed their lives from one of relative peace and security to non-stop stress and worry for their son’s well being. Edward Damiano decided to fight back, reclaim their lives, and in the process, dramatically improve the lives of individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Edward, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, Massachusetts, began development on a bionic pancreas that continuously monitors blood sugar levels and automatically makes the necessary insulin adjustments.

The "bionic pancreas" team's work has been featured by TIME Magazine, ABC News, CBS News, PBS Newshour, the Today Show, NPR, Smithsonian Magazine, and The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Digital Producer Alexander Dervin to Speak at TEDxSacramento2015

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

By Chris Brune

What do legendary director Steven Spielberg, muralist/graffiti artist David Choe, and creative Renaissance man Kanye West all have in common? They’ve all called on Alexander Dervin to produce visual sequences for their wildly diverse creative projects. 

TEDxSacramento is thrilled to announce that innovative short film, commercial, and documentary film producer Alexander Dervin will speak at the upcoming “THIS Changes EVERYTHING” conference on June 12, 2015.

Alexander Dervin cut his teeth in the industry as a production assistant for legendary television producer Michael Seligman. After a short time, he started coordinating and managing productions. These experiences from the world of traditional television would serve as a bridge to his success as a digital film producer.

Dervin has produced highly stylized sequences for Terrence Malick, Julie Taymor, Ben Affleck, Matt Fraction, MK12, and many other creatives. His commercials, title sequences, and visual effects work opened up new opportunities for Dervin to produce documentaries, features and series. Some projects include Argo, Superman Returns, Across the Universe, Tron and Minority Report.

Want to take a peek inside the creative mind of Alexander Dervin? He'll be sharing insights and inspiration, alongside our other great thinkers and doers, on stage at TEDxSacramento’s “THIS Changes EVERYTHING” event on June 12, 2015 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. Register today.

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The Possibility and Power of Relationships: Business Leader Judy Robinett to Speak at TEDxSacramento2015

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

TEDxSacramento is proud to announce that Judy Robinett, entrepreneur, author and business leader, will speak at its upcoming conference, “THIS Changes EVERYTHING” on June 12, 2015.

Judy has made a name for herself by working non-stop in the public and private sectors. She led numerous companies as CEO, served in management positions at Fortune 500 companies, and held a faculty position within the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Program. Currently, she serves on the advisory boards of Illuminate VC, Pereg VC, Springboard Enterprises, WIM and Newpark Capital.

Judy’s recently published book, How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+150 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits, has gained national attention. Inc. Magazine ranked it as the #1 business book of 2014 for its eye opening advice for entrepreneurs seeking and investing in relationships that add value to their lives and the lives of others. 

Judy writes, “For you to become a master of strategic relationship, you need to do more than just connect, care, and add value.” She advocates for becoming the “connector between connections--the person who can help people reach a resource they would never know about and could never reach if it weren't for you.”  Such “critical connection skills” are what make her ever-expanding roles in almost every sector possible.

If you have put off registering, but want to make sure that you secure good seats, don't wait any longer. We have an amazing line up of speakers, including Judy Robinett and Dr. Ernesto Sirolli, and, trust us, you will want to be as close as possible, especially in such a large venue.

On Friday, June 12, we invite you to spend a day with us filled with brilliant live speakers, captivating live performances, extraordinary talks and you! It is dedicated to those daring enough to dream, to reimagine the way things are as the way they can be and should be, and whose ideas promise to disrupt the status-quo and forever change the way we see things. We anticipate more than 2,000 attendees, changemakers, and global thought leaders.

Claim your seat before it’s gone!

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Looking to Nature for a Sustainable Future

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

By Lauren Herman

How much stuff do you actually have? That is the question Beth Rattner asked the audience at the TEDxSacramento Salon “This Changes Everything: City” on March 7, 2015.

She challenged the audience to imagine pulling all their possession out of their home and placing everything into one pile. What does our stuff tell us about each other and our past? Most importantly, what does it tell us about our future?

Beth points out that our stuff may bring us comfort and joy in the moment, but asks at what cost to our future.

 

Another Man’s Trash is Not Always Another Man’s Treasure

As Biomimicry Institute’s Executive Director, Beth isn’t primarily concerned with the accumulation of the stuff we surround ourselves with. Her true concern lies in the environmental impact of the production and discarding of our possessions.

She points out that the world population will reach 9.5-10 billion by 2050 with 1.8 billion new people entering the middle class in the next few decades alone. Currently, the United States middle class spends $21 trillion a year on what she calls “our” stuff, but quickly reminds us that this will increase as population rises over time.

Beth Rattner speaking at the TEDxSacramento Salon "This Changes Everything: City" on March 7, 2015 challenging us to question what's in our  stuff ?

Beth Rattner speaking at the TEDxSacramento Salon "This Changes Everything: City" on March 7, 2015 challenging us to question what's in our stuff?

Rather than focus on the amount of stuff we purchase and discard, she brings to light a simple question that often complicates (in a good way) the dialogue around consumerism. What is in our stuff?

Understanding the make-up of our possessions, the items we use in everyday life, including our mobile phones, disposable coffee cups, toilet paper, and blue jeans, is important in the imagining and reimaging our future. Such knowledge allows us to understand the impact that the production and destruction of our stuff has on the environment and our health.

 

Our Design Program and How Nature's Way is the Right Way

Beth reveals that there are fifty million man-made chemicals in the world. In the United States, 60,000-80,000 of these chemicals are used in everyday life, but only one percent is regulated. As a result, Beth states, “We understand the hazards of one percent of [these chemicals].”

We all live with toxic chemicals everyday, perhaps without consciously realizing it. She discusses that a concern for cities should be the impact of these chemicals “becoming a lot greater” when humans live in densely populated areas.

But, Beth makes the point that “We all live with tonic chemicals everyday, but we just don’t know what to do about it. We think that we have to choose between things that are beautiful and things that are safe. But, that’s a false choice.”

We all live with toxic chemicals everyday, but we just don’t know what to do about it. We think that we have to choose between things that are beautiful and things that are safe. But, that’s a false choice.

Beth believes that we have a design problem – nothing more, nothing less. The Biomimicry Institute where she works stresses the importance of nature in design. Nature has the answers that can and will transform our current and future innovations.

Biomimicry follows “Life’s Principles” that “instruct us to build from the bottom up, self-assemble, optimize rather than maximize, use free energy, cross-pollinate, embrace diversity, adapt and evolve, and use life-friendly materials and processes, engage in symbiotic relationships, and enhance the bio-sphere.” The whole point is to learn from and mimic nature – adapt to nature, rather than the other way around. 

 

Ask Nature: What We Can Learn from Nature

Here are some lessons we can use as blueprints to transfer nature's designs to improve our own design process. Log onto Biomimicry's "Ask Nature" to find out more!

-Adhesive: Collaboration between Northwestern University in Illinois and the Kensey Nash Corporation resulted in a new adhesive called “Geckel” made possible by applying the phenomenon called “contact splitting” that creates the dry adhesion strengths of gecko feet and the polymer of an amino acid called DOPA used by mussels to create a wet adhesive.

It is hoped that this “biomimetic hybrid material” will be used for bandages and transdermal drug-delivery patches as it is impervious to water, maintains adhesion over 1000 contact/release cycles, and easily removed when no longer needed.

-Water Proof Material: Nikwax Analogy is a waterproof fabric that mimics the “waterproofing system” and “breathability” of mammal fur. The outer layer of dense microfiber fabric deflects wind and rain, and the inner layer made of asymmetric filaments uses capillary action to move moisture away from the body. It is hoped that this “nature-inspired technology” will be used in clothing produced for harsh weather conditions.

Imagine the other improvements or inventions made possible though the lessons of nature that are adaptable to our lives!

 

Consumers As Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

If we have not yet heeded the cautionary tales of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, An Inconvenient Truth, or the most recent This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein, consider Beth’s advocacy for working with nature rather than against it.

Beth Rattner stressing the importance of consumer participation in sustainable design.

Beth Rattner stressing the importance of consumer participation in sustainable design.

Such an approach is needed in our state of California. The golden state is experiencing the worst drought in its history leading Governor Brown to recently announce California’s first mandatory water reduction for businesses and residents. It is time to think about how the actions and designs of humans, especially large corporations and well-off communities impact such conditions. This speaks to Beth’s discussion on the growing middle class and its consumption habits.

Beth ultimately believes that consumers are the solution, not the problem. She asks us to take a few minutes everyday to sit in nature and observe. Observe how nature cooperates rather than competes for a healthy, thriving environment. She asks us to consider what might happen if companies and society both mimicked nature in this way.

What if companies cooperated rather than competed; what would our environment – our cities look like? Would this contribute to the health of the planet rather than the bottom line of a given company or the well being of one community over the other?

Such considerations will transform our designs, economic systems and approach to life. Don’t be afraid to let nature in — think outside the ‘big box retailer,’ and think inside the eco-sphere.

 

There are more AMAZING speakers to come at the upcoming TEDxSacramento conferenceTHIS Changes EVERYTHING” on June 12, 2015 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. REGISTER NOW before tickets sell out!

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Dr. Ernesto Sirolli, Entrepreneur and International Development Maverick, to Speak at the Upcoming TEDxSacramento Conference

By Lauren Herman

We are excited to announce that Dr. Ernesto Sirolli will speak at the largest TEDxSacramento conference, “THIS Changes EVERYTHING,” on Friday, June 12, 2015. Don’t wait until the last minute – register now!

Dr. Ernest Sirolli, Founder, Sirolli Institute

Dr. Ernest Sirolli, Founder, Sirolli Institute

Dr. Ernesto Sirolli, researcher, author and founder of Sirolli Institute, has worked for decades in the fields of community and economic development. What makes his work TED worthy? It's his admission and unique approach to failure; yes, the “f” word.

Dr. Sirolli’s lived experiences with the “f” word began while working for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout Africa as a young adult. He witnessed the potential of local knowledge that was (and still is) rarely acknowledged by foreign aid workers and volunteers who continually implemented (and still do implement) failed projects.

Rather than walking away in frustration, Dr. Sirolli tackled the sobering truth of aid failure by creating an alternative approach, known as “Enterprise Facilitation,” that harnesses the passion and innovation of community leaders to make the change they want to see in their communities. Over 250 communities worldwide have adopted this “person-centered” approach through the Sirolli Institute that advocates the art of listening to create the foundation for localized sustainable economic development.

Dr. Ernesto Sirolli speaking during his previous TED talk in September 2012.

Dr. Sirolli inspires the ability to recognize and accept failure as a stepping-stone to reimagine and recreate current systems that are failing us. When was the last time you turned failure – the “f” word - into action?

Want to know more! Watch Ernesto Sirolli on the TED stage, and get ready to hear him and other great thinkers and doers at TEDxSacramento’s “THIS Changes EVERYTHING” on June 12, 2015 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

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Urban Design for Joy

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

 

By: Chris Brune

George Zisiadis is an interactive artist and designer who playfully reimagines the everyday. He inspires in those who touch his work new ways of seeing the world. His San Francisco-based studio produces work independently and in collaboration with brands and institutions.

Through both guerrilla interventions and my public art work, I’ve focused on re-imagining mundane urban experiences into opportunities for joy.
— George Zisiadis
George Zisiadis at the TEDxSacramentoSalon, "This Changes Everything: City," on March 7, 2015.

George Zisiadis at the TEDxSacramentoSalon, "This Changes Everything: City," on March 7, 2015.

George wasn't always the urban design rebel we met on the TEDxSacramento stage at “This Changes Everything: City” at The Guild Theatre. He was once a self-proclaimed jaded New Yorker until he took a stroll in Manhattan's Central Park in the winter of 2005.

George's 'Ah-ha!' moment

Hungarian artist Christo Yavacheff and French artist Jeanne-Claude, known jointly as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, descended on Central Park in early January 2005. They employed an army of volunteers to help create a remarkable installation piece entitled The Gates that transformed the massive park with vibrant deep saffron-colored nylon fabric banners along its many miles of pathway.

For George, the same walk that he had done hundreds of times before was now a sublime experience. He found himself wandering for hours in a mesmerized state of awe. When reflecting over the transformative experience of the installation, George recalls a moment of epiphany.

People spend millions of dollars to build giant ‘things’ in cities that serve no other purpose than to make people happy? That’s awesome!
— George Zisiadis

He decided to seek out more experiments in urban imagination. George has dedicated his life to creating experiences, like The Gates, so others might be inspired, too. He set out to bring a sense of joy and wonder to the people who participate in urban spaces across the country.

Urban Inventions

George set out on his new path by making simple observations to add poetry to the everyday. He started asking questions like “maybe something more could go here, something more joyous?” He didn’t have to wait long until he found his first opportunity to experiment. His first project centered around the bike racks of New York City. It was his first in an ongoing series of installations that playfully re-imagined public space.

Musical Bike Rack  - An urban intervention re-imagining the use of bike racks.

Musical Bike Rack - An urban intervention re-imagining the use of bike racks.

In George's mind, music (gongs) + the mundane (the ubiquitous NYC bike rack) = potential for a more human, emotional, and reflective experience. George summed up the whole experience in one simple truth, "Who doesn’t like hitting gongs?"

As adults we come to rely on routine. It’s experiences like the Musical Bike Rack that shake people out of their daily routines and give us permission to play. Simply put, George is creating experiences that punctuate the everyday urban landscape and remind us how to seek joy as a child might.

Mistletoe Drone

The introduction of the Amazon drone delivery concept presented George with an opportunity to, once again, inject some whimsy into an otherwise ordinary tool whose purpose was utilitarian in design. When the drone delivery stunt first took off, George said, "We can do better. How about a mistletoe drone?"

Mistletoe Drone - An urban intervention in San Francisco's Union Square in December 2013 designed to spread holiday cheer.

George was able to reach pedestrians in an urban setting without having to deploy a (semi)permanent installation. The drone itself wasn’t placed ‘on’ the urban landscape; it was placed ‘above’ the fray of busy holiday shopping. The experience was piloted to people instead of relying on pedestrians to make their way to where an installation was located. This added layer of mobility created an element of surprise that co-opted the passersby into participants.

The drone also illustrated how a relatively small execution can impact participants and onlookers in a deep and relevant way. George learned that he didn’t need to build an imposing physical structure to make a big impact on the public. A quadcopter, mistletoe, and some holiday cheer were all the ingredients necessary to spread joy that afternoon in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Pulse of The City

These early projects inspired George to tackle bigger issues in cities. There is a truth that comes into focus when we humans gather in increasingly dense space — we lose touch with our natural rhythms and become increasingly drone-like. George shared his solution to this unfortunate effect of city living. He asked himself, "Amongst the chaotic rhythms of the city, how can we connect people to the rhythms of their own bodies?" His answer to this question was realized in his installation Pulse of The City where participants' heartbeats are turned into music.

Pulse of the City - a public art installation that turns pedestrians' heartbeats into music. 

When visitors hold onto the handles, they hear their heartbeat layered over with custom music produced from their real-time pulse data.

Pulse of the City gave people the opportunity to stop and playfully reconnect with the rhythms of their bodies. The installation is another example of how George transformed the soundscape by adding joy to the maelstrom of noise endemic to city life.

Urban Imagination

George shared with us the elegantly simple ideas that eventually found their way into his book, Urban Imagination. It's a collection of fifty whimsical drawings that add a playful twist to everyday urban objects. Skyscraper ziplines, gumball parking meters, and disco ball traffic lights are just a few of the charmingly illustrated ideas that explore how to make cities more fun.

For adults, Urban Imagination is a reminder of what it’s like to see the world through a child’s eyes. For children, it’s a validation of what they already know is possible.
— George Zisiadis
Grass Bench  - The first Urban Imagination concept turned into reality! Created for the San Francisco Exploratorium's night of Civic Hacking.

Grass Bench - The first Urban Imagination concept turned into reality! Created for the San Francisco Exploratorium's night of Civic Hacking.

This series of sketches proved to be far more than the makings of a fantastic coffee table book. Those who thumbed through the pages of childlike crayon and color pencil drawings found that their own latent urban imagination had been ignited with the possibility of designing for joy.

Isn't it frivolous: Is urban art worth the cost of investment?

George introduces us to two very different cities with wildly different outlooks on function and design. The first city "Boring," as George calls it, is the type of place where overpass and stairwells are grey and empty — it's a familiar scene in most cities. George also introduces us to a city a few miles down the road that employs a fundamental difference in its approach to urban design. In this second city, a sterile, unremarkable, underpass can be re-imagined as a communal meeting place. But, is it worth the expense and effort?

Simple considerations at the design phase can result in urban spaces that are not only entertaining, but also profit centers for the municipality that commissions them. George returns to his formative experience with joy-centered design to substantiate this claim.

The Gates in Central Park is estimated to have attracted four million visitors during its fifteen day run. Those visitors that flocked to Manhattan from around the world paid for lodging, ate at restaurants, bought souvenirs from street vendors — you get the point. The taxes from these transactions fill city coffers, not to mention the extra dollars that find their way to the pockets of vendors and small business owners. It's estimated that The Gates installation was responsible for over $254 million in revenue; not bad for a bunch of colored sheets waving in the wind.

George adds some insight by saying, "...designing for function and designing for joy are not mutually exclusive." Embracing a joy-centered design ethos can indeed have a real world impact on the fortunes of cities and the individuals who live there.

George left us with a very simple question.

We have a choice as a society. We can continue building and shaping our cities to be boring, or we can have more happy adventures — which would you rather live in?
— George Zisiadis

He showed us how any idea, no matter how grand in scope or singular in focus can both effect how we shape our world through joyful design.

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For more examples of George Zisiadis' work and creative process, including his '100 Questions to guide any creative project,' visit his website.


Interested in learning about and sharing more ideas worth spreading? Register for the upcoming TEDxSacramento "THIS Changes EVERYTHING!" on June 12, 2015. Join thousands of fellow Sacramentans at the biggest TEDxSacramento conference ever!


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From Kabul to Sacramento: What the Afghan Women's Cycling Team Taught Me about Life

Join us for our largest conference yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

By Lauren Herman

When filmmaker Sarah Menzies traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan to document the lives of female cyclists, she began an unexpected journey not just as a director, but also as an individual. 

She spoke at the TEDxSacramentoSalon “This Changes Everything: WOMEN” about the film, Afghan Cycles, and how it was more than just another job. She admits that it did not take much convincing for her to pack her bags when she learned about the female cyclist team based in Kabul. But, what was surprising about the project was her unexpected personal growth before and after the film that began when she landed in Afghanistan meeting, befriending and filming the female cyclists.

     Sarah Menzies on the TEDxSacramento stage at "This Changes Everything: Women" on December 12, 2015.

     Sarah Menzies on the TEDxSacramento stage at "This Changes Everything: Women" on December 12, 2015.

In a recent blog post about her TED talk, Sarah wrote, “I’ll be honest, when I was asked to speak at TEDxSacramento this winter, I was nervous...I think it’s because for the first time, I was required to insert myself into the story. We’ve tried so hard to keep ourselves out of any of the messaging, so it was strange to personalize this story and talk about myself. The truth is, the women we’re profiling in the film have completely transformed me and my way of thinking.”

 

Sarah’s Unexpected Journey

Sarah’s unexpected journey as a filmmaker and individual brought to light her own misconceptions of Afghanistan and the role of women in it – a county made familiar to Westerners through scenes of war produced by mass media rather than personal experience.

Sarah explains on the TEDxSacramento stage that, “Afghanistan is not an easy place to be a women let alone a women riding a bicycle.” But, she goes on to explain that the females she befriended and worked alongside were not helpless, weak individuals that need saving like she once imagined.

Watch Sarah Menzies' TEDxSacramento talk, "What the Afghan women's cycling team taught me about life" filmed at "This Changes Everything: Women" on December 12, 2014.

The women in the film completely changed her “western bias and western fears” about the lives of Afghani women. She realized that even though “women are oppressed by men, culture and tradition...that does not have to mark them as victims.” She is determined to showcase these women as the strong, hopeful females she met who challenged her to see them as more than the conflict of their homeland. They are individuals with hopes and dreams doing something they love – riding a bicycle. Rather than feel pity and sorrow, she wants the world to feel the hope of these Afghan women cyclists when learning about them.

 

Sarah’s Gift to Us from the TED Stage

Sarah wanted to give a voice to the story of these female cyclists through her film, but they in turn gave her a new perspective that she is now able to use to speak to our own prejudices, biases and misconceptions of our world – especially Afghanistan.

Even though Sarah was not in Afghanistan offering humanitarian aid, I believe that she was on a mission for humanity to save ourselves from our fallacies and misjudgments of “the other” -- other cultures, other religions, other countries, other governments that are different from our own and which, we -- in turn -- deem as inferior or a danger to our own. In this case, it is the unexplored country and women of Afghanistan in which most Americans only understand through the lens of the violence and conflict.

We need people like Sarah to wake us up to the realization that despite differences in culture, gender, age, nationality, and occupations, we are all human. All seven billion of us experience pain and joy; we all have family and friends; we have much more in common than differences. To truly appreciate that, we need to listen and learn from one another and be open to the possibility that the labels we give to one another are most likely wrong.

Take the opportunity to listen to Sarah’s story on the TEDxSacramento stage to see how her journey will change you. Let her film and her talk serve as transformative agents for you.

 

Want to learn more mind blowing ideas worth spreading? Attend the upcoming TEDxSacramento2015 conference, "THIS Changes EVERYTHING," at the Community Center Theater on June 12, 2015. Register Now!


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Pose like a superhero because you are

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Pose like a superhero because you are

Join us for our largest event yet, TEDxSacramento2015, on June 12, 2015. Register today before space runs out.

We're pleased to release John Marcotte's talk, "Girls can be their own superheroes," first given at the TEDxSacramentoSalon, "This Changes Everything: Women," in December 2014.

John Marcotte at TEDxSacramentoSalon, December 2014, "This Changes Everything: Women"

John Marcotte at TEDxSacramentoSalon, December 2014, "This Changes Everything: Women"

#PoseLikeASuperhero

This talk has already struck a chord with the internets, inspiring women and girls to pose like a superhero, take a photo, and post it online with the hashtag #PoseLikeASuperhero, as featured on the Women You Should Know blog. Don't worry, if you're male, you can participate too.

And now, enjoy the talk, and maybe you too will be inspired. Watch it here or at the TEDx website.

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