‘Eventually No One Will Feel Ostracized – Embracing Differences’: Erika Gruidl at TEDxLivermore

When Yámana Science and Technology hosts our Science ‘UnSummits‘, most recently in 2012 one of our goals is to share new ideas and emerging trends on how work gets ‘done,’ especially in the scientific and technical sector.

I believe people have a natural desire to contribute and a built-in wish to thrive (shared by all living things). I also believe that our current evolution and
opportunity is to envision a way for all to thrive. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it. And I’ve been spending a good bit of time looking for places that this is happening. The scrum environment is one of these trends. The Starfish and the Spider points to this too. Tribal Leadership, the rise in non-profits, the ‘Blessed Unrest’ that drives us forward, with the goal of mutual thriving on the horizon.

I got to participate quite heavily in bringing this message to a warm and engaged audience at the June 8th TEDxLivermore event at Las Positas College. This intense day of stage and speaker management capped a year and a half of weekly meetings with one of the most fun teams I’ve ever been on: Roz Hamar, Director of Valley Montessori School, Stacy Drury, our project manager (truly wonderful in this position!), Kathy Ohm as speaker coach, Michelle Eastman, Jill Miller for PR, Kate Mullen who was heavily engaged at the outset, and the list goes on. We had so much fun! As we got close to the event day, we gave up the idea of carrying out efficient and matter-of-fact meetings, as we were having too much fun in the covering of every detail and sharing our minds and
opinions while we were at it.

How did I find this wonderful opportunity for spreading ‘ideas worth sharing?’ In a word, Dale Kaye (ok, make that two words). When I met Dale she was the very forward-thinking President of the Chamber of Commerce in Livermore CA. Almost immediately she shared with me her vision for an ‘Idea Festival’ in Livermore – to share emerging trends and innovative practices in high tech.  Now the Executive Director of  Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, Dale has not stopped thinking about ways to connect people, ideas and vision.

I’m thinking about the TEDx approach through the lens of complexity and self-organization. Unlike our bootstrapped events at the Science ‘UnSummits’ where we have 1-2 cameras, one person doing all the streaming and projection, me as host, and everything done from the ground-up, TEDx provides a format that requires a highly evolved village. People do the jobs they are trained to do, with heart and soul, while improvisation and bootstrapping still operated for our all-volunteer planning team. For me it’s a hybrid and a reminder of how exhilarating it is to work with people who are really good at what they are doing.

I suspect one of the major benefits of the more highly organized TEDx events is the online talks after the event. The speakers spent considerable time making
this ‘the best talk of their lives,’ which to me is a bit of hyperbole and a really big dash of pressure. But, that being said, it also brought out clear, succinct messages that have vision and weight behind them. This is likely a highly effective lever for change through inspiration.

Theater stage with a 3 person Trio and letters TEDxLivermore in background

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brown TEDxLivermore 2013 event


This was originally posted on blogger, with a different first image: Innovate + Educate: Bringing Inspiring Conversations about through TEDxLivermore