Rehearsing For the Future

Last week, TEDxBeaconStreet community members had the opportunity to sit in a room and be given visions of a brighter, more powerful, more connected world.

Five of our 2016 Speakers came to practice their talks; they are brilliant and driven, and we can’t wait to see them wow the audience in November. The people who came to help them out with comments and questions were thoughtful, engaged, and excited by all the ideas we had flying around!

Ideas in Action team members Irma and Caty provide feedback for Sarah Beaulieu

We bounced back and forth between physics and sociology, quests and questions. We had an adventure skier and an actress, who didn’t talk about skiing and acting but about the journeys these professions led them on and the things they learned on the way.

Robert Cocuzzo narrated his amazing journey in the footsteps of extreme skier Doug Coombs, whose life was an inspiration to many people. Robert told us about how he skied the crazy routes Coombs followed — “you either nail it, or you die” — and what he learned trying to get to know someone who was already gone.

Sarah Beaulieu challenged us to examine the assumptions we make when we talk about men and rape. “Some men are rapists,” she reminded us, “but men are also victims, allies, and friends.” Sarah’s commitment to changing the conversation around men and sexual violence, and helping men learn how to be part of the healing process, brought a necessary degree of discomfort to the room; we’re sure her talk will inspire many deep conversations.

Speakers Eric Schilling, Laura Ingalls, and Joscha Bach tune in to a presentation

Joscha Bach asked if artificial intelligence (AI) can reveal our minds. Josha is a philosopher and a computer scientist who studies mental representation and cognitive architecture — meaning, how do we formulate thoughts, and how do we see and make sense of our world? His gift for imagery and his vision for how AI can help us understand ourselves made for a riveting pitch.

Laura Ingalls told us about the dreams she had as a teenager, and how she thought that being skinny would make those dreams come true. She learned differently as an adult, not because her dreams didn’t come true, but because once she embraced what it really means to be healthy, she got everything she dreamed and more. Laura encouraged us to pursue healthy, not skinny, with all the knowledge and confidence that real commitment to health brings.

Guy Satat brought the future right into our conference room, where he talked about an ingenious method for seeing beneath the surface of things. With his new technology, Guy’s vision is more precise and less harmful than X-rays; it could save lives and helps us be better informed about our health. “All the light one one side of frosted glass comes through to the other side,” he said, “so why can’t we see through it?” Guy can — watch his talk in November to learn how!

We are thrilled to be able to present these and other visionary Speakers to the world in November. As their talks develop, we hope you’ll keep coming to rehearsals and providing your invaluable comments; see you there!