(iphone photo from the morning before it started)
I love TED talks. Do you? They're so varied and full of information! It's like a lecture with my favorite professor every time I hear one! (favorite professor included in this post, yay!)
Recently I found out that my alma mater hosts TEDxHayward. TEDx=independently organized TED event. And I found out just in time to actually attend the day event of TEDxHayward, which I was absolutely thrilled with! I kinda talked my friend into going (and she said she ended up enjoying it, win-win!) and we both really enjoyed the day. For me, it brought me back to alot of my favorite classes in college, like the history teacher (Khal Schneider) who got so fired up in CA history that he would go overtime, or the Economics teacher (blanked on his name) who was more like a History teacher with a specialization in Economics (talk about awesome!) and finally the Business Communications teacher who I credit with my OCD tendencies in my personal and professional written communications with people, Steve Ugbah.
Applied Peace Innovation is defined by TEDxHayward as " the application of social capital and technology used to decrease hostility, increase the existence of healthy interpersonal and international relationships, promote safety in matters of social or economic welfare, and further the acknowledgement of equality and fairness in political relationships." The day itself consisted of talks centering around compassion (for self and others), happiness through compassion, inner peace, sustainability as a peaceful transtion into preserving the world for the next generation.
The operative, or active, 'ingredient' for the day was CCARE: The Center for Compasion and Altruistic Research and Education based at The Stanford School of Medicine (Stanford University). Dr. James Doty, Director & Founder was present as well Emma Seppala, Associate Director and many others who are involved directly or through research with CCARE. Discovering CCARE and it's mission in itself was absolutely amazing and astounding. It also has the distinction of being funded by the Dalai Lama.
So. I've struggled with how to appropriately sum up the day and I'm really not sure how to do that! I filled up a mini-moleskine notebook on just that day alone by taking notes from each of the speakers. It's absolutely amazing how much they can cram into fifteen minutes! I decided to create a photo for each of my favorite speakers, including their photos and the quotes that impacted me the most. I may follow-up with a short paragraph describing their talk, or maybe not! Here goes!
Dr. Doty was on my top five list of the day because of his frank and open manner. His delivery style for the day was very down-to-earth and he emphasized the importance of possibilities for people to succeed. He is quite a successful man himself, and in his talk he spoke of the power of kindness and compassion and its transformative ability. (Obviously, he used much more sophisticated language as well but some of my notes are unclear in those areas.)
I saved only this one quote from Eve Ekman's talk simply because it encompassed much of what she was saying. She shared her research on chronic burnout, stress and empathy within the juvenile system in her studies with officers of the juvenile system of San Mateo. Her talk was very technically based on her research however she had tidbits (like the above) that are applicable to other areas. One of the things she mentioned that stuck with me was how people previously experienced burnout on their jobs and left and now people are experiencing burnout and staying: what are the effects on the people they are serving? She mentioned when we burnout from experiencing others suffering we can no longer help them in the most beneficial way.
This lady started the day and she started it off on the right foot. She was my second favorite teacher of the day: hands-down amazing. Emma Seppala spoke on compassion in a very personal way, using photos as her slides (with no words) of people, hands and interactions between people that expressed emotions such as compassion, kindness and happiness. She spoke about loneliness and how it is not something we only experience when we are alone but often in a group. When we don't offer compassion to ourselves we become unable to offer it to others. We must develop the ability to resonate with others so that we can share with others and live more fulfilling lives as a product of that ability. I can't wait to read more of her work!
I have to say, I was so surprised at how interested I was in Shannon Lucas' talk. Honestly? When I read Vodafone as her title I kinda spaced out when looking at the schedule. However, her talk totally fired me up due to its topic on sustainability and compassion in business. She spoke about the role of compassion in business and one of the most powerful things she spoke of was the selfishness of compassion, both in business and personally. She said "Compassion can be selfish. Is that bad?" When businesses show compassion they often get greater press or more positive press coverage due to their willingness to show compassion whether through sustainable environmental ways or through philanthropic paths. So, it is self-serving as well as serving a greater-good. In the same way, showing compassion can make us feel better as a human. Are those necessarily bad things? That showing compassion serves us as well as others? No. It's a benefit of doing good. Shannon also spoke about the need to create a measurable scale of compassion in businesses.
These, I think are ideas worth spreading!
(I'll be back tomorrow with part II)