Posts tagged United States

The impact of desegregation on learning: Rucker Johnson

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“Denying children access to resources damages both their educational and later life outcomes.”

As schools were desegregated in the 1950s and 1960s, opponents feared that embracing students from low-performing all-black schools would lower standards and unfairly disrupt white students’ performances. In fact, as Rucker Johnson shows with his extensive research, desegregation had essentially no effect on white students, but propelled minority students to unprecedented levels of success. (Filmed at TEDxMiamiUniversity)

Each week, we choose four of our favorite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community, and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Browse all TEDxTalks here »

5 tips from a TEDxWomen organizer on becoming a better leader

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Below, a post from Henna Inam, organizer of TEDxCentennialParkWomen, part of this year’s TEDxWomen initiative:

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TEDxCentennialParkWomen — Photo by lorikay Photography

In the last two years, I have learned more about leadership through leading groups of volunteers than during my entire 20-year corporate career. Leading volunteer teams is a humbling experience from which any leader can benefit. As the workplaces of the future move from command and control hierarchies to networks of alliances within and outside organizations, these sort of experiences help us develop the traits each of us need to learn to lead in the future.

On Dec 1, I was part of an all-volunteer team that pulled off a TEDxWomen event called TEDxCentennialParkWomen. Within three months, we did our legal set-up, curated nine amazing speakers, found sponsors, venue, created a website, brand identity, marketing, PR, social media platforms, concluding with our inaugural event launch with about 100 people participating. We didn’t charge for tickets. Team members had not worked together before. They had full-time jobs, businesses, families. Most of our meetings were virtual. No one was paid to do anything. Were we all on drugs? If so, I’ll bet some companies want that prescription!

Here are the 5 leadership lessons I learned from this experience:

1)  Organizations must serve individuals – For true engagement to happen, leaders must find a way to help people achieve their personal goals through the organization.  Some volunteers jumped in because they saw the opportunity to express their own beliefs through our mission (“to educate, inspire, and empower women in all aspects of their lives”). Some jumped in because they saw this as a way to learn new skills, to express their strengths, to get exposure, to make new friends, connections, and contacts. Not everyone’s motivation was the same. I needed to understand each individual’s motivation and find a way for the organization to fulfill it. This is a flip of the assumption I had in corporate America: People (including me) are here to serve the organization.  We need both for engagement to happen.

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TEDx Playlist: 9 incredible musical performances by kids

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TEDxAmericanRiviera, Photo by Carolyn Newstrom

You don’t have to be a grown-up to wow an audience — and these very musical kids prove it. From a 12-year-old guitar player to the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra’s Academy of Peace Through Art, we’re sure you’ll enjoy these 9 musical performances fueled by raw talent and hard work.

TEDxYouth@Madrid - Andrea Motis & Joan Chamorro Trio

Take your eyes off the screen for a moment and you’ll be sure to believe you’re listening to a vocalist with decades of musical experience. But Andrea Motis is only 15 years old. With her stunning voice and brass talent, she stuns the TEDxMadrid crowd with the American standards, “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” “Slightly Out of Tune,” and “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”

When it Comes to Music, it’s All About the Feel : Ray Goren at TEDxOrangeCoast

Ray Goren started playing guitar four years ago. He was 8. Now, he spends his time beguiling music critics and amazing crowds nationwide. At TEDxOrangeCoast, he showcases his remarkable talent.

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Be unpopular: Erika Napoletano

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“When are you going to admit that there is something glorious about being you?”

With the help of her unique sense of humor, Erika Napoletano shows that it’s ok to embrace - and not apologize for — the things that make us human. (Filmed at TEDxBoulder.)

Each week, we choose four of our favorite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community, and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Browse all TEDxTalks here »

10 TEDxTalks every American should watch before Election Day

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With Americans electing their president tomorrow, we revisit our playlist from last week—10 TEDxTalks every American should watch before voting:

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As a New York Times article put it this morning, “The presidential campaign entered a delicate phase on Tuesday, suddenly becoming a sideshow to the hurricane.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it’s hard to remember that in just a week, Americans will be heading to the polls and, with their presidential selection, answering big questions about the future of the economy, education and their country’s place in this world.

In these 10 TEDxTalks, a global selection of speakers suggest altogether new ways of looking at these questions.

More banks, fewer problems: Scott Shay at TEDxWallStreet

Scott Shay is a small banker with a big idea: No more big banks. The way he sees it, the bigger they are, the harder they fall and the bigger the global disaster they can leave in their wake. At TEDxWallStreet, he appeals for a massive break-up — spreading out the risk, diversifying the field, lowering the dependency, and creating a more secure financial system overall. 

Be optimistic about the US and China: Geoffrey Garrett at TEDxSydney

Americans are unsure what the future of China means for them. Many are apprehensive about it’s policies and even fearful of the competition escalating into a perilous rivalry. Geoffrey Garrett thinks the US-China relationship is better than ever. At TEDxSydney, he outlines a vision of the future where codependent superpowers can peaceably exist.

A new Sudan: Tarig Hilal at TEDxKhartoum

A fresh start: From the Revolutionary war to westward migration and the history of immigration — it’s an idea emblazoned onto the American psyche. Now, nations across Africa and the Middle East are looking for new ways to start over for themselves. In this powerful talk from TEDxKhartoum, Tarig Hilal tells the story of a hopeful generation of Sudanese that are coming to terms with their past and setting a new direction for their country’s future. A story that can remind Americans what it means to be start from scratch.

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Good germs make healthy buildings: Jessica Green

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“The uncharted territory here is thinking about microbes in a new way…”

Microscopic organisms permeate our bodies and our buildings. While some of these microbes are detrimental to our health, others keep us alive. Jessica Green believes that we’re designing buildings to keep microbes out — regardless of whether they’re good or bad — and calls for a new breed of “interior groundskeepers.” (Filmed at TEDxPortland.)

Each week, we choose four of our favorite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community, and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Browse all TEDxTalks here »

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Snapshots of TEDxCity2.0 day: TEDxAmerica’sFinestCity

(Top photo from Instagram user stylexplorers; Bottom photos from L to R: stylexplorers; msmenos)

From organizer Mark Dewey:

“Our TEDxCity2.0 event was truly by the community for the community. Speakers shared their powerful messages to all the San Diegans who are concerned, but optimistic,  the future of the City of San Diego.

I was extremely impressed to see the mix of attendees: from students of the local college pitching their ideas—to seasoned executives of the top organizations in our community. Everyone joined together to discuss real change for San Diego, but—most importantly—with tangible goals in mind.

Being a part of this global event opened the exchange of ideas to include what has and has not worked in other cites and questions about we can adopt best practices from proven models. Far too often, these events only dive into local problems with local solutions. Sometimes we need to expand beyond our zip code to understand what our problems really are. We have an incredible pool of thought leaders right in our backyard, but it will take all of us working together to become the City 2.0 “

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Neurologist Kelly Foote and neurosurgeon Michael Okun research direct brain stimulation — strategically implanting electrodes inside the skulls of their patients to alleviate symptoms of disease. In their talk at TEDxUF, they tell the story of one of their patients, whose obsessive-compulsive disorder was taking over her life: 

“…Let me tell you a story of [one of our patients] that will blow your mind: this young woman from Davenport, Iowa, who has the same disease that Howard Hughes died of, called obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. She’s obsessed with fears of being contaminated. Everything out there is dirty to her, and she’s paralyzed by these fears. 
She won’t touch anything, and, in fact, when she came to see us for the first time she wouldn’t sit down in our psychiatrist’s office for her first interview…
She’s had obsessive-compulsive disorder for a long time, but when she got pregnant, her symptoms got a lot worse. And of course everybody said, you know, “It’s the hormones. I’m sure when you give birth to the baby everything will be okay.” Well, it wasn’t. It got a lot worse.
And then, two years later, Child Protective Services is threatening to take her two-year-old daughter away, because she can’t stop washing her. Her baby is red and scaly and tender.
Now, here is the cruel thing about obsessive-compulsive disorder. These people have insight. She knows that she’s hurting her baby. She knows that her obsessions are irrational. She knows that she’s driving away the people that love her. And she has no power to stop these behaviors. She’s desperate—and she’s tried everything…she’s taken all the medications; she’s been through in-patient behavioral therapy programs. Nothing’s working. 
She heard about our research and she contacted us, and we implanted two deep brain stimulators in her brain in the area that we thought would be likely to help quiet these obsessive thoughts that have been plaguing her. And to make a long story short…it worked—and it was pretty damned excited to us.
Now, I have to say, that at one point she did call me in a panic. She said, “Dr. Foote, something is terribly wrong. My deep brain stimulators have stopped working because I was at the movie theater last night and I was walking across the floor and it was really sticky and I was completely grossed out.” And I calmed her down and I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute—number one—you were at the movie theater last night—and number two—that really grosses me out too. I think you’re going to be okay.”
So, to me, the most intriguing thing about this case is that we’re moving beyond using deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders like Parkinson’s disorder and tremor—which now we know we can do—and it looks like we’re going to be able to address malfunctioning other circuits in the brain—like limbic circuitry that cause problems like depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

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Neurologist Kelly Foote and neurosurgeon Michael Okun research direct brain stimulation — strategically implanting electrodes inside the skulls of their patients to alleviate symptoms of disease. In their talk at TEDxUF, they tell the story of one of their patients, whose obsessive-compulsive disorder was taking over her life:

“…Let me tell you a story of [one of our patients] that will blow your mind: this young woman from Davenport, Iowa, who has the same disease that Howard Hughes died of, called obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. She’s obsessed with fears of being contaminated. Everything out there is dirty to her, and she’s paralyzed by these fears.

She won’t touch anything, and, in fact, when she came to see us for the first time she wouldn’t sit down in our psychiatrist’s office for her first interview…

She’s had obsessive-compulsive disorder for a long time, but when she got pregnant, her symptoms got a lot worse. And of course everybody said, you know, “It’s the hormones. I’m sure when you give birth to the baby everything will be okay.” Well, it wasn’t. It got a lot worse.

And then, two years later, Child Protective Services is threatening to take her two-year-old daughter away, because she can’t stop washing her. Her baby is red and scaly and tender.

Now, here is the cruel thing about obsessive-compulsive disorder. These people have insight. She knows that she’s hurting her baby. She knows that her obsessions are irrational. She knows that she’s driving away the people that love her. And she has no power to stop these behaviors. She’s desperate—and she’s tried everything…she’s taken all the medications; she’s been through in-patient behavioral therapy programs. Nothing’s working.

She heard about our research and she contacted us, and we implanted two deep brain stimulators in her brain in the area that we thought would be likely to help quiet these obsessive thoughts that have been plaguing her. And to make a long story short…it worked—and it was pretty damned excited to us.

Now, I have to say, that at one point she did call me in a panic. She said, “Dr. Foote, something is terribly wrong. My deep brain stimulators have stopped working because I was at the movie theater last night and I was walking across the floor and it was really sticky and I was completely grossed out.” And I calmed her down and I said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute—number one—you were at the movie theater last night—and number two—that really grosses me out too. I think you’re going to be okay.”

So, to me, the most intriguing thing about this case is that we’re moving beyond using deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders like Parkinson’s disorder and tremor—which now we know we can do—and it looks like we’re going to be able to address malfunctioning other circuits in the brain—like limbic circuitry that cause problems like depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

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Wood-burning TEDx: Taking advantage of their setting, TEDxSunnyvale’s organizers created laser-etched wooden nametags with their venue’s resident etching machine.

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Rafflesia arnoldii and Rafflesia arnoldii: close up by Tamara van Molken

The thing is about plants is that everyone sees them as passive and benign. But, actually, plants are hugely manipulative. Plants have to do everything animals do. They have to cope with predators; they have to find food; they have to find a mate. They have to do all of that sitting still.

And one of the ways they do that is by manipulating other organisms. In the case of flowers, what they’re actually manipulating pollinators to do is to act as a courier that’s carrying a package from one flower to another.. Now some flowers very kindly reward their courier—others are infinitely more sneaky.

For example, one of the largest flowers in the world, Rafflesia, actually manages to trick its pollinator by pretending to be a slab of rotting meat. So this flower is large, sort of red, but with sort of lumps and bumps on it that look like rotting pustules, and it also releases the most awful stench, that does smell exactly like a rotting corpse. It also heats itself up so it is the same sort of temperature as a rotting corpse, and flies are tricked, very successfully, by this flower’s impersonation and come and lay their eggs on this flower and get covered in pollen as they do so.

Other flowers pretend to be the female of solitary wasp species and fool males into grappling with them and getting covered in pollen. So flowers could be seen as a form of advertising. They’ve been called a ‘sensory billboard.’”

—from “The Secret Language of Flowers,” a talk by molecular biologist Dr. Heather Whitney at TEDxSalford, an editor’s pick in July.