Last Thursday I attended TEDxCLE at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I attended TEDxCLE when it first came here in 2010. This one was their fourth and it was worth attending. I’d like to tell you why.
First, let me tell you what TED is. TED was founded in 1984 and had its first annual conference in 1990, in Monterey, California. TED brings together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design, and there are two annual conferences, one on the West Coast, and the TEDGlobal in Edinburgh UK.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience, which is what I attended at TEDxCLE.
We had 8 outstanding speakers. Among them were Cleveland innovators who highlighted areas where Cleveland excels. The whole theme was about repurposing, reinventing, and collaborating to be stronger than before. In fact, Joy Roller, President of Global Cleveland summed it up nicely when she said (and I’m paraphrasing here): “…We’re called a rust belt city, but let’s remember that rust only forms on things that are strong and durable…”
All the speakers were great, but four really touched me, and lent great credibility to Shamrock’s Gung Ho! Management Philosophy of collaborating, promoting a positive spirit, and making the world a better place.
I really enjoyed Global Cleveland. Their initiative is to increase the population of Northeast Ohio and promotes the region as a welcoming place for all. Since I’m a boomeranger, someone who lived here, left, and returned to Cleveland, I could appreciate Joy’s remarks about Cleveland, which she calls the authentic American City.
Greg Harris, President and CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, spoke about icons, and how we associate different artists with specific icons. He told us about speaking to Yoko Ono and asking if she would loan to TEDxCLE John Lennon’s guitar from the famous Bed-In in 1969. He persuaded her to do so, since she’s a fan of TED and Cleveland. It was amazing to see that icon on the stage.
Mansfield Frazier, Executive Director, Neighborhood Solutions and Founder of Chateau Hough, told us about his organization’s competitive grant, won in 2010, which established the country’s first inner-city vineyard. It’s a three-quarter acre called Vineyards of Château Hough, located in the inner-city Hough community.
I was fascinated by Jen Margolis & Scott Simon, founders of Thrive Cleveland. It’s considered a radical new “happiness incubator” that designs experiences, rooted in science, leading to greater individual and communal happiness.
Jen spoke of the 40% theory of happiness. She said that 50% of our individual level of happiness is determined by our DNA, 10% of our happiness is determined by external circumstances, such as food, water, shelter, etc. According to Jen, 40% of our potential individual level of happiness, which is determined by our intentional thoughts and actions.
Overall, TEDxCLE was an exhilarating experience and displayed the diverse talent and enthusiasm that’s making Cleveland one of the most talked-about emerging cities in the country.
Here’s to a thriving Cleveland!