Hey loyal readerfriends!
Next stop on the TEDxDesMoines train is a TEDxDesMoinesWomen event, which will happen December 2 at the lovely Sticks Studio event space. (That was our dream venue for this event, because it’s woman-owned and a unique spot outside the city.) I’m so excited.
Featured speakers for the event are respected pollster J. Ann Selzer and up-and-coming Latina leader Esperanza Pintor Martinez. Plus, we’ll be streaming session six from the national TEDxWomen event. Read all about it and buy your $12 ticket here.
If I see you there, I will probably hug you. And dudes are welcome, too!
Also, Alice from Beaverdale Books will be there with a table selling some awesome titles. I’ve given her a shortlist of items. Any must-reads you’d recommend?
No class for a few weeks in August means I’m soaking up the last of summer nights and reading for fun.
Wednesday night we enjoyed a book club discussion of “The Art of Fielding” with an amazing view from the roof of the AP Lofts. (I loved the book and it got unanimously high ratings from the rest of the group.)
Right now, I’m reading “A Hologram for the King,” Dave Eggers’ new book.
It’s good, a really fast read, and having traveled to the Middle East this spring, I feel like I get the context a little bit more. It’s not as exhilarating as Eggers other books (the main character is a middle aged depressed consultant); I’ve read a review that described it like a modern “Death of a Salesman” and I can see that.
Our Book Club chose “Gone Girl,” which Amber posted about the other day. The fact that our club is made up of a bunch of married couples might make this discussion particularly interesting!
Here’s a video from TEDxDesMoines to get you creating this weekend on all of your weekend projects. I think Rachel is awesome and am really impressed with what she’s been doing on the collaborative Art Beacon Des Moines.
Rachel was super nervous to do this talk, but she was one of my absolute favorites. I love her slides, too! I consider myself a creative person/maker and I could totally relate to what she was saying! I’m working on a quilt right now for Arin’s baby boy, and I’ll post some photos of that this weekend. Almost done!
We’re in the process of uploading some of the videos from TEDxDesMoines, and I wanted to make sure to share this talk, “Beyond Closure,” from Nancy Berns:
I first learned of Nancy’s work with closure last year, when I still worked in the Drake University marketing department, where she is a professor of sociology. Her publisher sent me an advance copy of her book, and I remember thinking about what an important topic that space between grief and joy is in our society. As someone who has felt deeply at both extremes and struggled with how people I’m around have treated me in my periods of grief, I found it personally fascinating.
In helping Alexander curate our July event around the theme “The Space Between,” I remembered Nancy’s message and thought it would resonate with any audience. Who among us hasn’t either struggled with grief or watched someone we care about experience the sadness of loss? I feel like Berns’ talk is one that our audience will return to, and share, when they or someone they know needs it. It’s a great reminder that oftentimes the best thing we can do for someone is to ask them to tell their stories and recall the joy.
Especially as we work through national tragedies like the recent mass shootings, and as we await sentencing for the perpetrators, this is an interesting idea worth spreading.
Three hundred interesting and interested people at the Science Center of Iowa. Ten live speakers. A selection of streamed videos from TED.com. Fellow organizers from three other Midwestern cities. A photo booth, into which VPs of The Greater Des Moines Partnership crammed with a RAYGUN T-shirt-wearing former Lt. Governor of Ohio. A pop-up coffee shop and bookstore (Mars Cafe & Beaverdale Books, natch). Legos. Play-dough. An amazing post-event dinner at Baru 66. Great conversation. Brilliant ideas. What more could a girl ask for?
I cannot WAIT to share the videos from our TEDxDesMoines speakers with you, but until then, have you watched this TED.com one on Tesla? We showed it at our event.
As many of you know, I’ve been working for the past few months to help plan TEDxDesMoines. I can’t believe it’s just 10 days away! From coming up with this year’s theme: The Space Between, to helping select speakers and mapping out how our attendees will interact and experience the day, it’s been a big adventure. (Not to mention our trip to Qatar to meet and workshop with other organizers.) When I left journalism, a big reason was to get to be one of the people who was actually doing things to strengthen our community. Planning TEDxDesMoines has been completely volunteer, and it’s kept me pretty busy. But when I think about the opportunity to bring together people from different backgrounds to listen and then react to paradigm-shifting ideas, it’s definitely worth it.
We have a few tickets remaining, so if you’re interested in going on July 15, don’t forget to register soon. If the $40 registration fee is too steep, shoot me a message and I might be able to work something out through a few volunteer slots we have open. The day will feature three different sessions with a wide range of speakers. We planned this conference so that you don’t have to be a tech person, or work in a creative field to fit in. Hopefully everyone will come away from the day having made a new connection: to a concept they’d never considered, or a person they’ve never met.
Here’s one of my favorite TED talks, “If I should have a daughter” from spoken word poet Sarah K:
If I Should Have a Daughter
P.S. I got to write a guest post “X Marks the Spot” for Silicon Prairie News last week. It was fun!
RAYGUN launched a couple of new shirts today, and this time the joke’s on Pinterest:
get the shirt, $19
So, I decided to have a little fun and turn the tables on Mike with a “Stuff Mike Draper Likes” board on Pinterest.
I’m having a great time working with Mike on the TEDxDesMoines team, so I couldn’t resist. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!