by Kathie England

TEDx Portland 2013 – What if?

What if? was the theme of TEDx Portland on Saturday, April 27 at the Portland Art Museum. With 1000 other people, I was fortunate enough to attend this sold-out event, the third TEDx in Portland. With 16 talks and 4 performances, the day exceeded all expectations!

A few samplings from TEDx speakers…

Jonathan Krisel – writer and producer – urged us to ponder the possibilities by examining that our own idea of what is wrong is what is holding us back. He urged us to “embrace the  chaos” and “do it wrong.” He offered the perspective that doing things wrong is liberating! What would happen if we celebrated our mistakes?

Brian Grant, a former athlete who played for 12 years in the NBA and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008, gave each attendee a domino to symbolize the What ifs? in life. He urged us to remember that even though we can’t control the outcome, we can control our effort. This perspective was heroically displayed in a brief video that showed him reaching the peak of Mt. St. Helens along with others diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Tom Brokaw wrapped up the speaker line-up with the historical view of the BIG ideas that have united us as a nation vs. the SMALL ideas that are dividing us today. He offered a BIG bold idea that he believes could re-unite us today. (I’ll share more in a future post).

The TEDx program said, ” ‘What if?’ looks at the world with a fresh perspective and that’s what TED is all about. Today it’s not about finding better answers, it’s about asking better questions.”