What is TED? TED is a nonproﬁt organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.
What is TEDx? In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, selforganized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
The extraordinary people we all know, the innovators and pioneers, have
gumption. When you strike upon a good idea, you need to take action, right? Waiting for the world to change on its own won’t get you very far, so you ﬁnd that you need to become the agent for change. When fear inhibits most, you turn it on its head and use it to your advantage. You discover that it
impels rather than paralyzes, motivates rather than discourages. In the face of ‘it can’t be done,’ you say that it can. When you meet resistance, you shake its hand and keep going. For what you’re holding onto is an idea worth spreading that will help make this world a better place. It isn’t long until you realize, unfortunately, that
doesn’t last. The next, best idea is always out there, and if you’re not
thinking about it then someone else is. Yet there must be a reason why the extraordinary people we know seem to achieve extraordinariness again and again. Have they realized something that we haven’t? Are they truly diﬀerent from us? What we come to ﬁnd is that what seems like a secret to us is only something they’ve learned and practiced, something we all can learn—that
becoming extraordinary is a continual process. The extraordinary folks out there are always in need of becoming extraordinary again. The process of becoming is about movement. We become extraordinary when we decide to run headlong towards our passions. The theme of becoming extraordinary is about unlimited
potential. We are all, always, in the process of becoming extraordinary. All it takes is that extra step or leap to bring us to that inspirational “a-ha” moment. It also doesn’t hurt to hear from extraordinary people. By hearing their stories, we ﬁnd out how simple a process becoming extraordinary is. We all can do it.
8:00am– Registration and Conversation 9:00am– Session One: Gumption Inside every one of us is the potential for gumption— the potential to be courageous, to be resourceful, to take initiative, and most importantly, do it all with a little spunk. Anis Mojgani: Equal Parts Science and Magic Crystal Schenk: Aurora Linda K. Johnson: The Habit of Being Jesse Laird: Strategic Nonviolence for Human Rights: Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Times Colleen Wainwright: What I Did On My Summer Vacation TED Talk by Caroline Casey: Looking past limits
Conversation Break (see pages 8-9 for more information) 11:15am– Session Two: Unlimited Potential Whether it is the beginning of your journey or you’ve been on the road to extraordinariness for a while, everyone has the unlimited potential to greatness and the ability to inspire generations. kin trio: emswi Goodnight Billygoat: Passage of Time Taylor Adam Swift: Take Courage Rev. Reneé Ward: When the Ordinary Just Won’t Do Jenn Cohen: The Circus Project: Getting Youth Off the Ground TED Talk by Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong
Lunch Break provided by local Portland Food Carts (see pages 12-15 for more information)
2:00pm– Session Three: Mystery Session Guest Curated by Jefferson Smith (see insert for more details)
Conversation Break (see pages 8-9 for more information) 4:15pm– Session Four: Pioneering All great ideas and movements have a starting point and first original pioneer, pioneers who break down walls and barriers along their way to becoming extraordinary. Mark Powers: I Am the Instrument Nathan Schmitt: The 50/50 Rule Cheryl Strayed: Radical Sincerity Ethan Knight: One Generation Our School - Occupy Education: What Community Looks Like TED Talk by Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration
Gift Bags With all of the awesome swag you received today, we wouldn't hold it against you if you confused yourself with Hollywood royalty. The truth is, the gift bags you received are an expression of our gratitude for your important participation today. All of the items were donated by our wonderful community business partners. Our partnership with the businesses whose logos appear here is in keeping with the TEDx mission of fostering a growing community of people who share in the vision of ideas worth spreading. Please check out their websites and learn more about these incredible companies.
Gift Bag Items Donated By:
Gift Bag Thank You Cards Donated By:
With great swag comes great responsibility. In pawing through your gift bag, you may have already discovered a Thank You card, which was created by one of six local artists. At some point during the day, please write a note of thanks to the speaker who has inspired you today on your journey of becoming extraordinary. TEDxConcordiaUPortland volunteers – in grey shirts – will happily collect your card. Cards will be distributed to the speakers shortly after the event.
Conversation Break Refreshments Provided By:
Batdorf & Bronson Coﬀee Roasters has been handcrafting the ﬁnest coﬀees from around the globe since 1986 and their standards are among the highest in the specialty coﬀee industry. They put immense eﬀort into sourcing and roasting fresh beans for coﬀee and espresso enthusiasts who crave quality and consistency and seek out special, limited edition coﬀees for fans of unique complexity of ﬂavor and aroma. So, it’s no wonder they were chosen as an extraordinary coﬀee company for this year’s TEDxConcordiaUPortland event. Batdorf and Bronson went above and beyond their refreshment duties, donating coﬀee for today’s event, but also for our TEDxLive viewing party on February 29th, including coﬀee, supplies and servers. B&B's standards of quality also extend to the way they do business. They strive to meet the challenge of sustainability with every decision they make. They oﬀer Certiﬁed Organic, Fair Trade Certiﬁed and Bird-Friendly, Shade Grown coﬀees and continuously work to lighten their environmental footprint through the purchase of 100% renewable energy.
About Our Conversation Breaks... Some of you may have noticed some familiar faces today. Speakers from last year have taken on new roles, community members are participating in new ways, and last year's connections have delightfully blossomed. So let's keep it up! In true TED and TEDx spirit, we will have conversation breaks between each of today's sessions. We encourage you to reconnect with those familiar faces, to talk to today's speakers, and to meet some new people. Use the conversation starter on your name tag or ones provided by the on stage hosts and talk about all of the great ideas worth spreading. Make new friends and contacts and please keep the conversation going after today is over – exchange your info, join our Facebook group, follow us and have conversations on Twitter, or invite us to your events. We are happy to have this opportunity to get to know you!
Extraordinary Food Carts KOi Fusion is all about new ideas, and that’s exactly what they’re serving up. Experience an innovative and funky fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican ﬂavors. Starting in 2009 as one mobile taco truck, Chef Bo Kwon was inspired by the genre of Korean Fusion. They use Mama Kwon’s secret family marinades, fresh vegetables, and locally sourced tortilla vendors to create a new twist that’s uniquely Portland.
Korean BBQ Burrito Choice of Bulgogi beef, chicken, pork or tofu Kimchi fried rice, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, mung bean sprouts, cucumber spears, cilantro and Korean/ Mexican salsa, all wrapped in a soft warm ﬂour tortilla
The Whole Bowl A comforting and healthy medley of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro, Tali Sauce and trace amounts of attitude. Made-to-order and gluten-free. (Vegetarian or vegan option) Tali Sauce is The Whole Bowl's secret weapon. Referred to by many as "crack sauce," this lemony-garlicky blend has been building local addictions in the Pearl, Downtown and at the new Hawthorne location for over 8 years. Sauce devotees have been known to experience a prolonged sense of well-being and tremendous relaxation upon consumption.
Our core belief is when you have good food, cooked with love, it brings people together in harmony. We use fresh ingredients because we are conscious of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Meat Choices: Our Varsity Blue grilled chicken is marinated with tantalizing spices that are guaranteed to give your taste buds a well-deserved hug. Using a special combination of fruit woods and natural charcoal, our 15-hour slow smoked beef brisket, served on a bun, is bursting with superior ﬂavor so tender it melts as soon as it hits your pallet. Our house dry rubbed seasonings ﬂavored with love, blends perfectly with our signature BBQ sauce. Vegetarian Options/ Sides: Grilled Vegetable Medley includes asparagus and zucchini grilled and seasoned to perfection. For the sides we have two favorites that complement the meat selection at any occasion: smoky baked beans and southern style potato salad all made fresh. Bon appétit. Margherita Pizza: Hand crushed San Manzano tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and whole-leaf basil Bella Siciliana Pizza: Fire-roasted red peppers and mortadella with whole-leaf basil Sicilian Green Garden Goddess Salad: Spring greens, herb infused sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, ci ci beans, sesame seeds, sunﬂower seeds, California plump raisins, and sheep milk feta cheese, served with our house wood ﬁred maple vinaigrette dressing Young entrepreneur Stephen Ferruzza was inspired by his dynamic Sicilian family who make handcrafted artisan pizzas and pastas in the basements of their modest homes and who taught him the secret Sicilian style recipes. He has perfected an authentic tomato sauce and traditional rustic style dough recipe created in collaboration with his father, Francesco Ferruzza who was born in Castellana Sicula Sicily. At his camp in the Adirondack Mountains, Stephen discovered a new phenomena in pizza making when his father built a stone oven from cobble stones collected from the woods and taught his sons and daughters how to cook on a wood ﬁred oven. This laid the foundations of Sicilian rustic style authentic pizza!
Your Extraordinary Notes
We wish to extend an extraordinary thank you to our ﬁnancial partners. Their generosity helped make this event, well, extraordinary.
Our Extraordinary production team: Steven Harper from
Randy Sommers from
Program cover by:
Wes & Tera Wages from
Brian Mariki & Steven Quirk from
Nametags printed by:
You probably don’t remember Jackie Hendrickson from TEDxConcordiaUPortland2011 because she was the star behind the scenes, putting in 300 hours of work in four months! Intern turned webmaster, stage director, program creator, marketing specialist and social media coordinator to TEDxLive organizer, Jackie has done it all, so it’s no surprise that her next task is to master being an on-stage host. Jackie is originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado and moved to Portland to play soccer at Concordia. She is senior captain on the women’s soccer team, majoring in Business with minors in Finance and Marketing. Jackie loves TED, saying that “the TED model I have grown to admire breeds lifelong learners, requiring an elevated level of personal investment that compels a spirit of sustained ingenuity...personal experiences have taught me that transformation follows adversity. TED challenges my assumptions and beliefs, leading to a heightened awareness of my connection to the greater community.” “Where others might shudder under the weight of indecision, I embrace the opportunity for exploration. As a chronic perfectionist, it is not the scope or depth of these challenges that intimidates me, but the question of how I can best prepare myself to tackle them that causes my youthful restlessness to resurface.” As fellow TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning team member and friend, we expect Jackie to tackle her job as on-stage host in the same fashion, using this as an opportunity to challenge herself and become even more extraordinary.
Jackie Hendrickson On-Stage Host
At TEDxConcordiaUPortland2011, he taught us to dance. He also shared with us about his lifelong love aﬀair with Bollywood, and we learned that he sang to his mom before he ever spoke to her. This year, Prashant Kakad returns to the stage as one of our on-stage hosts. He’s excited and honored to take this role, and he’s looking forward to helping our speakers share their extraordinary stories. If you remember Prashant’s talk from last year, you know he has an extraordinary story of his own. His passion for Bollywood led him to singing, which then led him to dancing. The “real world,” on the other hand, led him to Cornell then Intel. He was an engineer and he continued to dance, but juggling both of these didn’t feel right. He thought a lot about what he wanted out of life, and he returned continuously to the place he considers the most extraordinary in the world, “the stillness of one’s soul.” “One must visit that place and understand the why to the best of their ability. The how then takes care of itself.” And so it did. He quit his job at Intel and he’s been spreading his love of Bollywood ever since. DJ Prashant now teaches audiences to dance, and he revels in getting them moving. Dancing has always been celebratory, expressive, and liberating. It is in this spirit that Prashant incites his audiences to get lost in the music and the movement of dance. “There is something magical about dancing,” he says. “The goal is to share the joy with everyone on planet earth!”
Prashant Kakad On-Stage Host
Switching from his role as a 2011 speaker to that of 2012 Guest Curator, Jeﬀerson Smith is excited to be a part of TEDxConcordiaUPortland again. One session has been curated and will be hosted entirely by Jeﬀerson. The speakers Jeﬀerson has chosen have inspired, challenged, and entertained him. Jeﬀerson’s TEDxConcordiaUPortland2011 talk about democracy in action oﬀered an inspirational and refreshing perspective on the power we all have to change our community. Being able to assemble great teams that have been responsible for change is something Jeﬀerson is well known for. His collaborative spirit is at the heart of the innovative Bus Project he founded, and it’s apparent in all of the lasting changes he’s made representing East Portland in the Oregon House of Representatives. In his current campaign for mayor of Portland, he hopes to further promote connection and collaboration at the local level in order to help Portland be the city it aspires to be. Jeﬀerson is also excited about our theme of “Becoming Extraordinary.” “What I like about the theme is that it allows plenty of ﬂexibility for all of the speakers to share unique stories of becoming extraordinary that resonate with their own skills and experiences...This city has cultural strands where sameness isn’t required; in fact, it’s a city where diﬀerent-ness can be culturally rewarded and celebrated,” he says. His philosophy of people-driven politics and involvement is one that doesn’t stop at the stage. Many of us remember his TEDxConcordiaUPortland2011 talk as a highlight, but we also remember how he struck up conversations with attendees during conversation breaks and how he stayed until the very end of the day, and even helped stack chairs and clean up after the event.
Jefferson Smith Guest Curator
Your Extraordinary Notes
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: When Things Fall Apart
by Pema Chodron “Pema encourages her readers to embrace a state of hopelessness, ‘[so] we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation.’ I’m excited to experiment with creating art from a place of what is, instead of what could be.”
Who has inspired you to become extraordinary? Everyone who discouraged me from following my heart. I have a tendency to be a rebel, so each time an external (or later internalized) voice attempted to dissuade me from following my passion, or told me I couldn’t do it, it only served to reinforce my commitment to myself. My passion for the craft and my love of circus provides the continued inspiration to persist despite the obstacles that present themselves; I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do work that’s close to my heart.
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? Co-create a show of course! I would love to facilitate a performance that tapped into collective creativity of a large group to express whatever was present and explore the nature of our relationships to one another and the world around us.
Jenn Cohen The Circus Project: Getting Youth Off the Ground
“I love things that turn my thinking upside down and challenge my basic assumptions.” If you’ve ever seen a circus, you know that the body is a strong and pliant thing. Performers push themselves to do things that stretch the limits of possibility until you’re left to wonder whether what you’ve seen was actually magic. Starting at a young age, Jenn Cohen, director and founder of the Circus Project, was fascinated with this magic. Cohen began the Circus Project in Portland in 2008 as a way to harness this magic and potential so she could share it with the community, especially homeless and at-risk youth. She has a master’s degree in Process Oriented Psychology, and through circus, counseling, personal development, work-study, and very high expectations, the lives of these youths end up transformed. In the future, Jenn says she hopes “to continue on the path I’m on, but with more presence, more patience, more love. More and more, I realize it’s not what I do, but how I do things that’s important.”
Where you can see Jenn: The Circus Project is partnering with Cirque du Soleil to bring circus training programs to youth in need for their newest show, OVO, on May 4th at the Portland Expo Center.
Extraordinary Book Recommendations: Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to
You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad “Having the will power to design and construct a boat to sail to the Caribbean Islands from the Faroes, without any experience, seemed pretty extraordinary.”
What are some achievements you have yet to accomplish, but hope to in the future? As for Goodnight Billygoat as a band, I’d hope to travel more and collaborate with other musicians. Since the work is cerebral it tends to work best in theatres. I wouldn’t be opposed to sharing a stage with a much larger group of musicians.
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? I think it could be fun to see these pieces live one day as a surrealist opera. I could imagine the visuals projected in tandem with live moving sets, actors and complete orchestration.
Goodnight Billygoat Passage of Time
“Anywhere where you have a clear view of the night sky free of light pollution is an
David Klein began Goodnight Billygoat as a solo project in 2006, combining stop-motion animation and ambient music. Nick Wooley joined soon after to help with production and the soundtrack, and they’ve been developing new ﬁlms and live shows ever since. In creating his stop-motion animation pieces, David thinks about Johanes Kepler’s belief that geometry existed before and served as a model for the creation of the universe. Expect Goodnight Billygoat’s performance at TEDxConcordiaUPortland to be a fantastically cerebral experience and also be incredibly entertaining. Their art is something to get lost in, to enjoy, and to feel good about.
Where you can see Goodnight Billygoat: Widmer Brothers Brewing contacted Goodnight Billygoat to produce their new line of beer signs that will appear in businesses across the country. They are hand-carving custom wooden lightboxes they have making for the last six years.
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: The Port Huron Project:
Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches by Mark Tribe “This book involves the reenactment of some of the signiﬁcant Vietnam-era protest speeches… They serve for me as incredible reminders of my responsibility as a citizen of conscience in a democratic society.”
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? I would ask each individual to carve out a one hour block of time each day for 3 months just for themselves. This time would have no agenda, no goals, no shoulds, and would be encouraged to be silent. It is not work time, catch-up time or leisure time, as that often has an agenda attached. Rather, this time would be merely set aside to delight oneself – walking, reading, staring at the sky, feeding the birds, etc...The kind of inner quietude and self-knowing that this kind of time encourages is really what our civilization needs. Currently, we have too much activity and too little self-reﬂection.
Linda K. Johnson The Habit of Being
“For me, the most extraordinary place in the
is right where I am in each
moment. Anything else is a distraction from fully showing up wherever I happen to be.” As a dance artist and educator, Linda has received critical reviews from Metropolis Magazine, NPR, Dance Magazine and Landscape Architecture. Linda is a prime example of what change can be facilitated when someone combines the great ideas they naturally have with the self awareness it takes to ignite a driving, forceful passion. "Artists frequently get accused of living and working in an ivory tower, and Johnson's work not only stands as a shining counterargument to that claim, but also demonstrates how the most power-‐ ful art always arises out of connection with people's lived experience." Brett Campbell, Journalist As a native Oregonian, Linda hopes to be able grow more of her own food. In the future she aspires “to spend more time alone in the creative process…to ﬁnd more balance between family and everything else…to spend more time volunteering to help other people [and] to raise a healthy, conﬁdent and joyous child.” Photo Credit: Alice J. Rose
At this year’s event we’re jazzed to be partnering with kin trio. Eugene Lee, artist and founder of kin trio, says, “I formed kin trio in 2011 with the idea to combine two of my favorite things: bebop and minimalism. Musically, I come from a bebop background and will always have a soft spot for it, no matter how experimental my projects become. The idea of this group is to use the context of bebop, one that is normally frenetic and freewheeling, to portray these experiences of tranquility and inward focus. Most of the compositions are jazz standards that have re-written melodies that are spacious and sparse, full of silences and held tones.” The name kin trio was ﬁrst chosen without a speciﬁc meaning in mind and has come to imply a level of kinship between the three artists. Tim Duroche is a longtime meditator, Andre St. James practices qigong daily; they all try to maintain some consciousness about physical and spiritual health and thus are on the same wavelength when it comes to the mission statement of kin trio: simply put as “minimalist bebop.” “We reject the bombast and ADHD which is normally associated with bebop and instead try to weave textures that allows the listeners, as well as ourselves, to sink deeper inward.”
kin trio Emswi
“Like all worthwhile endeavors, it is a tall order, and we are just at the beginning stages, but like other journeys it is one that is possible through persistent cultivation.” -Eugene Lee
In addition to being the founder of kin trio, Eugene Lee is also the graphic designer for TEDxConcordiaUPortland and is responsible for creating the posters and promotional materials featuring “bubba the ﬁsh.” bubba is red, whereas all of his ﬁsh kin are black. bubba is as diﬀerent from a clone as the DNA of same species ﬁsh will allow; in other words, he’s the archetypal outlier. Outliers are something that most TEDxsters will appreciate, which is why a smile will crack when you view this audacious ﬁsh in artistic action. Eugene thought to name this painting series of “bubba the ﬁsh” after “semiautobiographical” events that inspired him. Though not every caption such as, “bubba the ﬁsh articulates his feelings on climate change,” or “bubba the ﬁsh is surrounded by hipsters,” comes literally from Eugene’s personal experience, he’s observed generalities in the world, speciﬁcally Portland, and has articulated them through the life of a red ﬁsh, who is named after his bubba the ﬁsh overcomes his roommate’s exceptionally fat cat. social anxiety and becomes a natural born leader
Where you can see Eugene: His artwork (including more paintings of bubba!) is on display in the Concordia University library. Please visit 27 bubba during the conversation breaks.
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: Deep Economy:
The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? So this is going to come oﬀ all Peter Pan, but wherever the heart is. I’ve traveled the world many times – lived in remote communities, worked all manner of jobs (both sincere and insincere), and for me—a self-professed meaning junkie—the heart really truly is the only place I want to live.
Who has inspired you to become extraordinary? There’s a number of great people out there who have inspired me and continue to. But more so are those small families and individuals whose notoriety aren’t of great importance, but whose human footprints are. The family who doesn’t throw away anything. The man who doesn’t use anything other than human-powered vehicles (not even the elevator). Or the student who falls in love with a manner of living so incongruous with her family that she’s a black sheep– but loves what she does. In that vein, I’d have to say it’s the humblest of us who are the ones who continue to inspire me.
Ethan Knight One Generation
“Passion is a better predictor of success than IQ will ever be.”
Ethan Knight, executive director and founder of Carpe Diem, would gladly admit that college wasn’t for him—at ﬁrst. During his freshman year, he realized that he wasn’t being fulﬁlled in a meaningful way. In 2009 Ethan founded International Carpe Diem Foundation, which helps students from low-income families attain scholarships for experiential education. Right now, he’s in the midst of forming an Association for Gap Year providers, “something that will further empower the students we work with to get information, collect data, and, of course, create a set of standards that the entire industry can beneﬁt from.” Ethan says he would also like to have the collected energy of 600 people “work towards high-output green energy development – be it fusion, or some other as yet undiscovered source of energy. But if energy were in greater abundance, that I’d say would be the next great evolution of mankind.”
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: The Apology by
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? I think Earth is the most extraordinary place in our solar system, and for obvious reasons. First, the Aurora Borealis. Second, San Francisco, California, and San Jose, Costa Rica. Third, sea turtles, phosphorescent algae, and the cyclic migration of the stars.
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? I would have them create a massive free university whose sole purpose would be to facilitate the intellectual, spiritual, and psychic liberation of all human beings, by and for their own power, to live meaningfully in harmonious community with all living creatures throughout the Universe. If there is any time left over, I would have them abolish money. Actually, I think that abolishing money would be part of the psychic liberation objective, so never mind. And, if this were to work (and eventually it will), the university itself would become so massive that it would become the underlying structure of a global civilization.
Jesse Laird Strategic Nonviolence for Human Rights: Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Times
“We would collectively turn away from things that do not matter, such as money, and orient ourselves toward Justice, Truth, Love, Wisdom, Beauty, and the Divine in all things.” Jesse Laird knows education, and he also knows about change. He teaches Humanities at Concordia University and is a doctoral candidate in Human Rights Education at the University of San Francisco. Since 2002, he has marched-on, taught-in, walked-out, blockaded, occupied, obstructed, and strategized in dozens of nonviolent campaigns. At Concordia, he teaches Peace Studies, Global Diversity, Speech, and Ethics. Jesse facilitates regular workshops in strategic nonviolent action through Our School, a Portland activist education collective. His publications include case studies of nonviolent social movements and he has recently lectured and presented on activist themes at numerous universities and organizations in California and Oregon. He says he would someday like to become more balanced. For some people, this might not be a concern; however, for someone who's devoted his time to studying the balance and imbalance of power in governments and institutions, the idea of achieving that ideal state of equality and equilibrium is probably one that is ever-present.
Extraordinary Book Recommendations: The Wind in the
Willows by Kenneth Grahame Epileptic by David B.
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? New Orleans is the birth place of Jazz, America’s ﬁrst true original art form. It is a beautiful city, its people, its homes, its food. The U.S. meets Europe there creating something that is both and neither…I ain’t ever been in another place like it...Everything there leaks music: the rooftops, the street signs, the bricks, the river. Parades materialize out of nothing. The sounds of horns walk the street like ghosts. Pianos fall out of open windows. There is singing everywhere. Every corner sings, even when it’s a silent part of town, there is a song. The river sings through the city. The city sleeps inside its arms. There are no strangers in New Orleans...I love New Orleans. Partially because I am from there, but more because it has a ﬂavor– it is sweet and salty and snaps under your teeth. The city reads like a mystery that one doesn't have to solve. It unfolds its layers before you, to climb over and under and ride a bicycle through… Most extraordinary? I don’t know. But this place, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi, kissing the Gulf, down at the part of the river where all the cities in the hearts of this country carry themselves to. It iss my most favorite city in all the world. Always will be.
Anis Mojgani Equal Parts Science and Magic
“I want to open people up to the possibility of what this world could actually be if we fully recognized the inherent potential of ourselves.” Anis is originally from New Orleans and now lives in Austin, Texas with his wife. He is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion, an International World Cup Poetry Slam Winner, a National Book Award Nominee, and a former artist participant in Oregon Literary Arts Writers in the Schools program. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in many literary journals. He is the author of two published poetry collections: Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008) and The Feather Room (2011). He aspires to open a bookstore because opening one is “an extraordinary act in this time in history, with mankind racing forward into the new electronic future.”
Where you can see Anis: As the MC for Verselandia, the ﬁrst city-wide all high school poetry slam on April 25th in Portland, Oregon http://verselandia.wordpress.com/
“My hope is by moving towards truth in my life I may move towards becoming a better person.”- Elmira If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? Hilary – I would focus on education. 600 extraordinary people could get foreign language learning, art, music, and PE back into a few schools. And those schools would produce and inspire a lot more than 600 extraordinary people. Mark – Share their knowledge and wisdom with each other and anyone else that might partake. When that happens, many projects will follow. Liam – I would ask them to talk to their neighbors face to face, one on one or in a creative forum and engage in compassionate communication so that their extraordinary energy could inspire others that are seeking to ﬁnd their own passions and interests to be active with, causing a ripple eﬀect of inspiration and motivation to be extraordinary. Elmira – I would inspire those 600 others to rise up against oppression wherever it exists in our world. I would want one super revolutionary, a leader reminding people of his or her own power where oppression exists.
Wherever awareness takes hold, ideas form and actions are taken to bring forth something extraordinary.” - Mark
Our School-Occupy Education What Community Looks Like
“I think that everywhere has extraordinary potential right now—as we all find our power and become kinetic forces of change.” - Hilary Last fall “We are the 99%” became the rallying cry of the Occupy Movement. What began with Occupy Wall Street soon spread to cities nationwide, including our very own Portland. We’re pleased to welcome Liam Doherty-Nicholson, Hilary Boyd, Mark Nerys, and Elmira Rodriguez from Our SchoolOccupy Education to our stage. Together they’ll discuss Occupy’s past, present, and future. They’ll speak about phase two of the movement, which involves discussion with the community, community improvement projects, and free education through the “Our School” program.
“I believe that the most extraordinary place in the world is inside each human being. The place where we go to in with which we are able to dream the visions of our ideal world and actualize the ability to move our path in that direction.”- Liam
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a
New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers “Sivers’ honest and creative approaches to running a business and helping others in the process…have been incredibly inspiring to me.”
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? I would have them adopt an approach along the lines of Paul Wesselmann's "Ripples Project." Consciously generating "small waves of kindness," the works done by our relatively small group of 600 can emanate out to have a positive impact on exponentially more.
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? One of the most extraordinary places I've yet to experience is the beautiful Yunnan province of China. The ancient Naxi music of Lijiang, Snow Mountain, the Shilin Stone Forest and the spicy foods all make me excited!
Mark Powers I Am the Instrument
“I am continually aware of many people do- ing so many great things for themselves and others. I can't help but see their
and actions and ask myself, ‘hmm . . . how could a drummer apply that?’ ” Drum roll, please. And hold…for twelve hours! Mark Powers, percussion artist, teacher, and writer, once co-held the Guinness Book of World Records title for longest continuous drum roll. When he’s not traveling or performing, Mark teaches private lessons, classes, and workshops. In teaching people the rhythms he’s mastered, he uses music to touch people’s lives. In some cases, it even helps to heal—he teaches at Riverfront Wellness Center and he presents percussion-based Correctional Education programs in adult and juvenile facilities. In the future he says he hopes “to ﬁnd new ways to use music to touch people's lives. Percussion has held such an integral role in cultures around the globe for centuries and rhythm is something that each one of us possesses within. My goal is to harness its power and potential, using it for community building, wellness and personal growth.”
Where you can see Mark: He is headed to Kuwait City to be artist-in-residence for two weeks at an international school. Following that, he will be spending four months performing music in the South Paciﬁc before returning to the US for a series of school and corporate percussion workshops.
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by
Charles Mann “I keep imagining what an extraordinarily diﬀerent world we would live in now, had the tide turned the other way and the Native people had survived.”
Who has inspired you to become extraordinary? One month after my mom’s death I was in a serious car accident caused by a drunk driver. Our vehicle was struck head-on then ﬂipped over— it was a miracle that we survived. The incident was another reminder not to sleepwalk through life, but to wake up and enjoy each day….I realized that my father always prepared for life, but never lived it. Both of my parents had lives half lived. They waited for something better to show up that never came. I don't want to spend the rest of my life wishing for something else, when the life I have now is so precious, wonderful and awe inspiring. I have made my own choice— to relentlessly pursue my passion, my art. I started down that road ten years ago when I gave up studying computer engineering to go to art school. Now I am fully embracing that path.
Still in its early phases, the stage is truly on its way to becoming an extraordinary backdrop for all of the speakers’ talks.
Crystal Schenk Aurora
“I have also made the choice to go play in the world. I choose to
create, to make friendships, to thrive.” With an MFA from Portland State University and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Crystal is currently an adjunct professor at Paciﬁc Northwest College of Art and Portland State University. Crystal’s artwork has been published in Sculpture and Craft magazines. “I have a very labor-intensive and detail-oriented way of working, in which craftsmanship and material choices play a large role. My sculptures address issues of physical and mental health/illness, class, memory and social interaction. Much of my subject matter is drawn from my familial history. Often my work starts as a lingering feeling or impression that deﬁes words and imagery. I spend a long time meditating on this sentiment, turning it over and over in my mind like a worry stone. It is important for me to hunt down the perfect metaphors and representations until I ﬁnd one that resonates.”
Where you can see Crystal: She will be having a solo exhibition of her work at the Miller Fine Art Gallery, located at Linﬁeld College in McMinnville. The show will run from April 2nd-May 5th.
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball:
Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work by Kevin Carroll
Who has inspired you to become extraordinary? I had the opportunity to be home schooled through graduation from high school. My mother taught me how to question the world around me and how to make a diﬀerence in society by getting me involved with the local community at a very young age. My dad is a committed ﬁnancial provider. He has taught me how to work hard for what I am passionate about. My wonderful parents have been married to each other for 36 years and continually teach me what an amazing marriage looks like.
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? Germany. This nation has shaped our world for the good and the bad, but after committing the world’s largest genocide, they have been able to repent of their mistakes and pick themselves up again. To this day, Germany is one of the most ﬁnancially successful nations in the world and has turned into Israel’s strongest ally. Our nation has been majorly inﬂuenced by Germany. The German language was one vote away from being the oﬃcial language of American at one time.
Nathan Schmitt The 50/50 Rule
“My mother taught me how to question the world around me and how to make a difference in society by getting me involved with the local
What is the purpose of an education? This is a question Nathan Schmitt has spent a lot of time pondering. “The information taught in schools and read by an individual person is basically incomplete knowledge if what they read is not followed by hands-on action.” He’d like to see theory and praxis balanced in education, and he’s crafted a 50/50 rule that speaks to this idea worth spreading. Nathan says he considers himself a very “competitive, ambitious, passionate and sociable” person. He is in the midst of building his own business and he plans to write a book. Ideally, he’d like to get involved in the leadership of his community and country.
Where you can see Nathan: Wandering around Concordia’s campus to classes as he works on completing his undergraduate degree in Business Administration.
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: The Chronology of Water, Lidia
“I’m awed by the heart and integrity on every page.”
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? My bed at six-thirty in the morning, after my two children have rammed themselves in beside me and my husband and our cat, Gulla. Because real, live, wild love is there. And what’s more extraordinary than that?
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? I would channel that energy into working toward improving the status of women throughout the world, with a special emphasis on women who live in developing countries, where many are denied even the most basic human rights. Gender equity is key to any ﬁght against poverty, to any movement that seeks to better the lives of children, and to any sense of ourselves as an ethical people. The injustices committed against women are unconscionable. There is so much to be done in so many areas. I’ll admit I feel defeated about it sometimes— from maternal health, to violence against girls and women, to economics and political reform, to changing the enculturation of harmful gender norms, to sex traﬃcking and reproductive rights, and on and on and on. But 600 extraordinary people? We owe it to millions of women and children to try.
Cheryl Strayed Radical Sincerity
“I want to continue to grow as an artist. My greatest professional hope is that my next book always reaches further, dives deeper, and risks bolder than the one that came before it.” The writing of award-winning author Cheryl Strayed has been described as courageous, gritty, elegant, precise, smart, funny, and sublime. She wrote the critically acclaimed novel Torch, as well as essays that have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, Self, along with many others. Most recently, however, she’s been in the spotlight for her upcoming memoir, Wild, which is about her 1,100 mile solo journey along the Paciﬁc Crest Trail. She walked the trail seeking forgiveness and hoping to ﬁnd her “innocent self” again, yet what began as an “idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise,” became something much greater. Through this journey, she found transcendence, hope, and healing. She confronted the wild and she confronted herself, ultimately ﬁnding the extraordinary in those things that we so often take for granted. The movie rights to her memoir have been purchased by Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon who intends to star in the ﬁlm as well. Cheryl says that “everything good in me can be traced back to her [mother]...She would have laughed if you told her she was extraordinary... She never allowed us to feel poor because we were rich in what mattered. She made a beautiful life for us in spite of many hardships. She brought magic into every day. She believed in kindness above all. She died of cancer when she was 45, but her strength informs my life each day.”
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: East of Eden by John
What else do you want the TEDxConcordiaUPortland community to know about you? I really enjoy listening, hearing stories of hopes and loss. The stories of life. I don't consider myself extraordinary, but I have had extraordinary opportunities, mainly because I wanted to be challenged, see the world through diﬀerent eyes. Most of the big decisions in my life involved less than a weeks’ worth of time to execute. Moving from Virginia to California for college. Flying to New Zealand for a two month adventure in a van. Moving from L.A. to San Diego to work for Invisible Children. Moving to Colorado to work for a year in the Rockies. And ﬁnally moving to Oregon. I am so thankful for change, a catalyst, something else that helps keep that spark of life glowing. An opportunity to pursue the extraordinary.
Who has inspired you to become extraordinary? It seems odd to think of myself as extraordinary, but there have been so many people who have inspired me to breathe deeply and live fully. Inspiration comes in so many forms: books, movies, friends, family, near death experiences, sorrow, unexplainable joy, to name a few…I also had a professor in college who, I thought, could see the potential in each and every one of his students. His teaching reﬂected that as well, he knew how to phrase and convey thing so you left the classroom with every creative ounce of you wanting to succeed. It seemed, to me, that he wanted to take a journey with each student and help them realize their creativity.
Taylor Adam Swift Take Courage
“I want to be challenged and be moved to action, see growth despite success or failure. Learn to better love the people around me.” After a bad auto accident landed Taylor in physical therapy, he found that he couldn’t pursue his calling as a photographer. What drew him to photography were the stories he could tell, but he soon heard another story that captured his interest. A friend told him about Invisible Children, a non-proﬁt organization that grew out of a documentary ﬁlm about child soldiers in Africa. Taylor applied, interviewed, and in less than a week was working as a “roadie,” giving presentations in Texas, Louisiana and the Paciﬁc Northwest. In the span of one year he presented over 170 times to crowds that ranged from 15 to 2000. Taylor says, “My family at Invisible Children has contributed so much to the person I am today.” Taylor also desires one day to “hike the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast. As a photographer, I want to use my skills for the conservation of our public lands. Documentary ﬁlms - there are stories to tell and I want to help tell them. Continue to meet, share life, and create with people who are more talented than I am. See the potential in people around me.”
Extraordinary Book Recommendations: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand Status Anxiety by Alain de
In a Perfect World by Laura
Photo Credit: Barry Schwartz Photography
What else do you want the TEDxConcordiaUPortland community to know about you? I don’t know about anyone else on this roster, but I am extremely uncomfortable with being described as “extraordinary.” I am absolutely a regular, normal person who was able to accomplish one extraordinary thing— and with the help of a lot of other people, at that. However, while personally I’d prefer that this whole thing be focused on extraordinary events, I’d also like everyone to know how honored and grateful I am to be included. Especially since the other people on this stage actually are extraordinary.
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? End organized religion. Or the patriarchy. Either one works for me.
Colleen Wainwright What I Did on My Summer Vacation
“I’m most often moved off the dime by naysayers—
who told me I
couldn't do it, that I’d never amount to anything.” Strokes of genius happen to normal people too. In fact, no one becomes extraordinary without having ﬁrst been rather ordinary. This little known fact may be part of what makes Colleen Wainwright so successfully accessible. A self-proclaimed “communicatrix,” Colleen used her social media and attention attracting talents to raise over $50,000 in just 50 days for the Los Angeles based non-proﬁt for high school girls, WriteGirl. Wit and humor are the most praised weapons in her arsenal and they’ve been sharpened by ten years of writing award-winning TV copy for brands like Wheaties©, Gatorade© and Jell-O©. After another ten years of acting in ads, Colleen decided to channel her creative talents into helping other blossoming talent come to full-ﬂedged fruition. In the future, Colleen says she would “like to get the sum total of my life’s lessons down in some portable, easy-to-consume form so what I’ve learned can be passed on. I’d like to ﬁgure out how to get WriteGirl funded in perpetuity, so they’re not always scrambling for dollars, and to help them expand into any place in the world that needs a WriteGirl organization locally. I’d like to write a hi-larious Broadway musical that raises public awareness about chronic health conditions and how ill-served by the medical-industrial complex are the people who live with these illnesses. I’d like to erase fear in myself and hopefully, replace it with love. I’d like to provide a real-time example of cycling oﬀ this planet with grace, humor, and dignity.”
Extraordinary Book Recommendation: Remembering the Power of Words:
The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader by Senator Avel Gordly
“I’ve drawn strength from her words as a silent yet vigilant warrior for justice and humanity.”
Where do you believe is the most extraordinary place in the world? Dalen, Norway is one of the most extraordinary places I’ve ever lived in my life. In 1978 I had the pleasure of living there for a year as an American Field Service exchange student and it changed my life forever. I was blessed to live with two families who shared similar and not so similar life experiences. Although our language and cultures initially conﬂicted, we soon discovered common denominators that brought us together in harmony – love of food and love of music. I will forever have a special place in my heart for the people and places that I visited throughout my tour of Scandinavia.
If you could channel the energy of 600 extraordinary people into one project, what would you have them do? Drop their guard/mask and become open and honest with themselves, dismissing the pretense that everyone will like you or agree with what you have to say. Be yourself rather than continue to beat up yourself. I have several ‘ice breakers’ that I use to set the atmosphere when I come before an audience so that I can determine “who’s in the house.”
Rev. Reneé Ward When the Ordinary Just Won’t Do
“I’m blessed and I am not ashamed to the world how good God has been to me.”
In 1998, following the death of her husband from an AIDS-related illness, Reneé founded Chrysalis Ministries, a faith-based nonproﬁt agency. Since then she has been featured in a 30-minute documentary entitled, “Who Will Speak for Me?” which proﬁled African Americans of the Paciﬁc Northwest whose lives had been impacted directly or indirectly by HIV/AIDS. She has also established two programs to educate, advocate, and empower those struggling with breast health and cancer. Lately she’s been working on four separate books because it is her “utmost desire to become an accomplished author, lecturer, and speaker in 2012.” She plans to release the books, one every quarter. “These publications will oﬀer inspiration, revelation and motivation to the readers, and I hope they help stimulate dialogue and courage among those who have felt isolated because of their brilliance as an independent thinker.”
Extraordinary Books In true TEDx fashion, we want to do all we can to create a community, so we asked each of attendees and speakers to tell us the most extraordinary book they’ve read in the past year. We’ve asked out bookstore partner to make some of these extraordinary book recommendations available for sale in the lobby of the library throughout the day. Their display will also feature books and CDs from our 2011 and 2012 TEDxConcordiaUPortland speakers and performers. TEDxConcordiaUPortland2012 Speakers’ Works Available:
Extraordinary Book Recommendations Available: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work by Kevin Carroll
Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann
The Chronology of Water: A Memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redﬁeld
Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a Remembering the Power of Words: The New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Life of an Oregon Activist Legislator, and Sivers Community Leader by Avel Gordly In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? By Johan Harstad
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Featured TED Talks Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation. In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.
Caroline Casey: Looking past limits Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong After repurposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately — all for free.
Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration
Thank You Our TEDxConcordiaUPortland planning and production team is truly extraordinary. They have worked for months to make a series of small and large decisions to make today possible…from choosing March 31st to debating whether the theme should be “become” or “becoming” extraordinary to selecting all our speakers and which food carts to invite. We are all more extraordinary as a result of their dedication, integrity to the process, and commitment to live the TEDx values. A very special thank you to: Our TEDxConcordiaUPortland Planning Team (open to all who want to dedicatedly join us): Michelle Jones!** – license holder and organizer extraordinaire Amanda Wheaton** – co-production designer extraordinaire Sean Wheaton*** – storyteller extraordinaire Brittany Duncan*** – speaker liaison extraordinaire Mike Dickman* – speaker liaison extraordinaire Katarina Krouse* – program designer, outreach coordinator, idea generator extraordinaire Krista Reynolds** – budget mistress extraordinaire Jackie Hendrickson* – former intern turned show director then on stage host extraordinaire Ira LaFontaine* – idea generator and social media guru extraordinaire John Petri!* – designer of all random things we need and volunteer wrangler extraordinaire Paige Reitz*** – co-production designer and gets everything she asks for guru extraordinaire Jolie Griﬃn*** – gift bag donation getter (also everything she asks for) extraordinaire Tess Smith* – Eventbrite mistress and registration guru extraordinaire Linda Church** – food carts, bookstore, and artist wrangler extraordinaire Mari Addy* – food cart handler extraordinaire Janet Denman* – webmistress extraordinaire Hunter Brookshier*** – storyteller and outreach specialist extraordinaire Dick Hill** – takes all the small tasks and does them with conﬁdence and ﬂair extraordinaire Andrea Bailey*** – marketing and partnership cultivator extraordinaire James Gaynor* – on stage host role model and idea generator extraordinaire Louisa Mariki* – nametag and sign designer extraordinaire Steve Braun** – supporter & partner ﬁnder extraordinaire Lucy Palmersheim*** - special assistant extraordinaire to the guest curator Our Event Day Volunteers: Tina Schantz*** Jonathan Hart*** Matt Wise** Samantha Jones*** Eli Nicholes* Kaiao Nahale-a* Turner Bloom* Tim Shrout***
Naeema Elmi* Tabina Nguyen* Walta Yemane* Steven Gunn* Robin Blue* Lisa Bassett* Alison Bailey***
*: Concordia University student/alumnus **: Concordia University faculty or staﬀ member ***: Community member !: Representing TEDxConcordiaUPortland at TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar in April 2012