TEDxCPW 2015


Friday, May 29 2015

A Roaring Success

What a great event! Did you feel the Momentum?

Our third Annual TEDxCentennialParkWomen conference on May 5th was a sold out event with drums, dances, and thought-provoking talks on education, medicine, business, personal growth, gender bias, women in the workplace and so much more.

After a soulful and thought-provoking original poem by Pearl Cleage, the proceedings took off to a heart-pounding start with Jo-Ann Radus' Drum Cafe inviting the audience to drum along. Small drums placed on each person's seat allowed the audience to participate and move to the same beat.

As the drums died down and our speakers began to take to the stage in turns, the themes of  facing failure, building resilience and sustaining #momentum (this year's theme) really resonated with the audience.

Susan Booth of the Alliance Theatre reminded us, our frontiers are infinite and we have to fail a few times to find our true limits.

Valerie Montgomery Rice, the President and CEO of Morehouse School of Medicine agreed as she quoted author Paulo Coelho:

"Life has a way of testing a person's will either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once."

Gender Equality was another theme our speakers were passionate about.

Jeffery Tobias Halter, the leading male expert in the country on gender equality, pushed for fathers of daughters to become more vocal on the issue of women's workplace equality. He urged them to consider the statistic that for every dollar their sons make, the daughters would make only make 78 cents for the same work. Stepping out in size 14 ladies shoes, Halter used the prop to point out the real discomfort men have in talking about women's issues at the workplace.

But before women even get to the workplace, Elizabeth Kiss, the head of Agnes Scott College told an enraptured audience that the deepest barrier to gender equality was also in our heads - in the form of gender biases.

In her powerful speech, President Kiss said the single most powerful tool to overcome those biases and to achieve women's equality was through education: "You liberate her mind and change the society."

Purpose and Passion were other themes that speakers touched upon as powerful forces that drive #momentum in life.

Author and Consultant Lisa Earle McLeod said that sales people who approach their job with "Noble Purpose" outperform other salespeople on the force whereas companies that are customer-centric and value driven outperform profit-centric enterprises.

But perhaps, it was physician Hammad Aslam, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a devastating accident, who summed up the nature and purpose of passion and the desire to conquer failure, best. He said failing gives us a chance to re-evaluate, rediscover and renew what was important in our lives and emphasized that if we have never failed in our lives, then we have never moved away from mediocrity.

Powerful messages indeed!