Lehigh TEDx Talk

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Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a TEDx Talk held in Packard 101 that was organized and sponsored by the Delta Upsilon fraternity and Alpha Omega Epsilon sorority. The theme of the talk was the future of social change but there were other topics covered.

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The first speaker was a past graduate student from El Salvador. He spoke about the work he had done back in his home country and here in the States in which he was actively changing society. He told us of a running club he and his friends started in El Salvador, a place known for high crime rates. They would go for a run with friends late at night and defy the usual social norms that you couldn’t go out at night because of crime. The idea spread and now over 500 people go for nighttime runs twice a week. It was a short but inspiring talk.

The next speaker was a student athlete on the baseball team. He spoke about his work with SALSC (Student Athletes Leading Social Change). He spoke about projects the group has done and the impact it’s had on the local community. Throughout the talk he emphasized the power of an individual.

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Next was a professor of technology and education. He spoke about the past and current educational system in the U.S. And how it’s flawed due to the biology and nature of the human brain and our high expectations of students. He spoke about how the three main components of the current curriculum (reading, writing, and mathematics) are all “unnatural” topics to learn due to the biology of the brain. He therefore found that standardized tests to be counterproductive and called attention to the Finnish education system, the most highly ranked education system in the world. It was a very interesting talk and my favorite of the event.

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Next was the head of the MBA program at Lehigh. She talked about the future of work and how it would focus more on what ones passion is compared to current day. She gave some alarming statistics on the lack of passion most people feel for their jobs around the world (87% feel disinterested). She then spoke of how in the future the résumé would succumb to more modern representation of a persons professional being like LinkedIn.

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The next speaker was another professor at the school and he gave advice on entrepreneurship taken from The Wizard of Oz. He gave 7.5 tips that all budding entrepreneurs should follow. I won’t list all of them but for an example, one tip was to take a break from your work before you’re forced to when it’s inconvenient. This was taken from the scene when Dorothy and the gang stroll through the poppies and fall asleep.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the last speaker. He was another professor and he spoke about the misconceptions we have about age and how we view ourselves because of it. From what I hear it was interesting as well. I’m told that the talk will be put on either the universities website or on YouTube soon. Look for it there.

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