Dear Kid,

Still trying to process everything from TEDxCincinnati on Thursday.

TEDxCincinnati 2015 DearKidLoveMom.comIt was an amazing event filled with unbelievable speakers on the Main Stage and demos of cutting edge technology in Innovation Alley. Here are a couple—more to come anon.

Thane Maynard TEDxCincinnati 2015 DearKidLoveMom.comThane Maynard from the Cincinnati Zoo came with a feather of a condor (about a zillion feet long) and a talk about how the world can help heal itself if we let it. (Think about how bones heal themselves—the earth behaves in a similar fashion.) He brought a cheetah with him—because he can. The most amazing thing happened when this gorgeous cheetah came out. There house went quiet. There was no cheering, no applause, just a soft breath from the audience. Everyone seemed to understand that as much as we wanted to give her a standing ovation, the cheetah probably wouldn’t appreciate it. TEDxCincinnati is a classy place. During the break between sessions, Thane brought Tether the ball python to Innovation Alley.

Thane Maynard, Pi, and Tether the ball python TEDxCincinnati 2015

Zachary Green is the founder of MN8 Foxfire. A volunteer firefighter, he designed (Created? Invented? Applied? Pick your own verb) a photoluminescent (glow in the dark) technology that allows firefighters to see better in blackout conditions inside burning buildings. He told his story about creating and using the technology and the difference it’s made in safety and better fighting disasters. He’s now applying the technology to emergency exits and stairs in public buildings to improve safety. Prior to TEDxCincinnati, we put a small piece of the material on each program. Zachary had everyone turn on their phone, light up the strip, and then shut off all the lights. The room glowed. Pretty amazing.

TEDxCincinnati 2015 program with photoluminescent material by Zachary Green and MN8 Foxfire.

Coach Reed Maltbie is the Exec Director of STAR Soccer Club (and a bunch of other important soccer coaching stuff). He spoke about the difference between needing to coach skills (pass the ball) and needing to use words carefully to create the kind of people we want to see in the world. He talked about the impact coaches have on the kids they work with and how it is not the sports skills that stick with us through life, but how we’re treated, whether we’re believed in that shape us for life. Yes, I wanted to record his talk and play it back for certain unnamed sports coaches. And no, I probably won’t.

The great news is that all of the TEDxCincinnati talks will be available for on-line viewing in about 6 weeks. Until then, you’ll just have to trust me that it was an amazing event, and check back in occasionally for overviews of some of the other speakers.

Love, Mom