For those of you who know of TED talks, no other explanation is needed.

For those of you who need an explanation, I’ll use the one from Wikipedia: “TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences formed to disseminate ‘ideas worth spreading,’ and their mission statement is, “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.” I’m a believer, so when I learned that Oahu would be a venue, I was excited and determined to attend. I filled out the semi-autobiographical missive that they requested, and two days later, I received my acceptance letter, along with the 79 other people chosen to attend, representing a cross section of the island. “ It’s about time!” I’m geared up for a day of learning more about the islands.

One new outfit later, I was all excited to be walking into the venue on Nov. 1, 2011 at 8 a.m. sharp. Eleven hours later (hmm… that’s sort of ironic isn’t it?) we emerged quite starry-eyed and overstuffed with ideas, both successful and sad stories, musical entertainment, challenges, digital imagery, great food, new contacts and a sense that the world contains a glorious array of opportunities and mysteries to solve.

Good food, good entertainment and great company at the TEDx event last month.

As with all TEDx events, videos of the talks are now up on the internet to view. All speakers were from Hawaii.

For astronomy buffs, Dr. Michael Liu’s “Telescopes As Time Machines.” He works on the Big Island, on top of Mauna Kea, where the powerful Keck Observatory resides. It was put there because of the clarity of the night sky. This is a tourist MUST for those coming to the island of Hawaii.

Music enthusiasts will love our homegrown Jason Tom’s “Vocal Groove” and world famous TEDx veteran Jake Shimabukuro’s “Peace Love Ukulele.” Both of these musicians are a master at their art, and they perform regularly in the islands.VIDEO: Lots to remember at the TEDx event. Hopefully you’ll be in town for the next one.

Dr. Robert Hong’s “A Clinical Approach to Complex Problems.” This cardiologist is associated with Queens Hospital, the state’s Level II trauma facility. His discussion was based around the strategies he uses to help save the lives of people who have acute heart failure. Not only was his talk inspiring, but it was reassuring to know that our island has this type of superb skill available to residents and visitors who need this level of medical care.

Also in the medical field was Dr. Ho Leung Ng, who spoke on “How This Chemist Fights Cancer.” A professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a medical doctor, he told of his own battle with cancer, which emphasized his desire to use chemistry to learn more about developing drugs to fight cancer. This is what he is doing now here in Hawaii, and again, this gave me satisfaction to know that we have him here on our island.

Educators Amy Burvall and Herb Mahelona presented “What I Learned from Napoleon and MTV.” This was highly entertaining, and a real eye-opener for those of us whose memories of middle school are getting fainter. The teachers are known nationwide for their unique approach to teaching history via costume, dance, and song, all presented like a music video that appeals to kids. Amy stars in the videos, which has 80s pop music playing. Please do yourself a favor and find one on YouTube. There is no way you will not laugh through the whole thing and also learn some history. Maybe you are planning a move here with children and wonder about schools. This pair is a bright star in the system that raises the bar for other teachers.

Photo Credit: Top two images of second image, Burt Lum

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely blog post! We had so much fun at TEDxHonolulu and were thrilled to present. Mahalo again for the shout-out.
    -Amy Burvall (of Historyteachers)

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