By Michelle Wildes, MS Science
I’m a huge fan of TED Talks — for myself and for my students. I weave TED Talks into my science lessons and homework assignments, and I occasionally have my students present their own talks. So I was excited — and honored — to be accepted to attend the 2013 TEDWomen conference. (Oh and not to mention, three nights in a hotel, in San Francisco, without the typical 3 a.m. monster-under-my-bed wake up from my darling children? Amazing.)
TED held the first TEDWomen in 2010 — Madeleine Albright spoke about the challenges women face in the workplace, Hillary Clinton raised the roof with a surprise visit, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, talked about women in leadership (a talk which would lead her to write her bestselling book, Lean In.) The conference was a huge success and has grown since then, attracting 650 attendees this year through a vigorous application process (an essay-writing ordeal reminiscent of college applications).
Admittedly, at the opening event, while eating my kale and quinoa and sipping organic wine, I felt a bit intimidated by the crowd of CEOs, VPs, and entrepreneurs. I was just a science teacher from Boston. What was I doing here 3,000 miles away from my comfort zone? What would I get out of this experience for Beaver? For myself? For my students?
The conversations at conferences are deep and rich with experience and compassion — especially at one like TEDWomen, which emphasizes networking so emphatically. My iPhone was out of reach and face-to-face social networking was a goal so needless to say, I got a heck of a lot out of the experience. More than I imagined.
Below are a few of the speakers I saw, as well as some of my reflections on their talks. Click on a link to dive into my journey. (More reflections coming soon.)
|Boyd Varty: What I Learned from Nelson Mandela (reflection)||Diana Nyad: Never, ever give up (video)||Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems … palsy is just one (video)|