Weren’t one of the lucky folks invited to the TEDxJacksonville event at WJCT today? Not to worry, I’ll be here live blogging all day so you won’t miss a thing … including how many times Al Letson says “hashtag.”
10:11 a.m. The event hasn’t started. But the show has … thanks to me. Media folks are sitting in the back on a riser about 3-feet-high, so our clickety clacking and bright screens don’t disturb the other audience members. I hiked up to the top and was setting up my computer when I somehow moved my chair back and fell right off the back of the riser.
Fortunately, the good people around me were more concerned about making sure I was OK than taking pictures of me on my back, half on the riser/half off, green Converses in the air, cradling my precious laptop in my arms. I appreciate their kindness, but photographic evidence would have been nice. Instead, I have this picture of someone installing a new brace to fix the wall.
UPDATE: I was just informed Stephen Dare of Metro Jacksonville was kind enough to live blog my fall.
10:17 a.m. Co-hosts Al Letson, host and producer of the award-winning series State of the Re:Union, and Hope McMath, director of The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, welcome the 350-ish people in the audience. Letson explains the theme of this year’s event: “(un)knowing.”
“The things that scare us most usually come from the unknown,” Letson says. “We’re asking you today to step into the ‘unknown’ and rethink everything you know about the world.”
Does this mean I have to unknow how smoove Al is? Because I cannot unknow that. And happy birthday, Hope!
10:26 a.m. According to Warren Anderson, destroying the environment is like tearing pages out of the The Bible, Torah or Koran. “Turn off your phone, your computer, your TV. Grab your kids, your grandkids, the neighborhood kids. Take them to the Timucuan Nature Preserve and allow them to connect to something bigger than themselves, rest in the grace of the world, knowing this is where they belong. This right here is the holy land.”
10:50 a.m. In a pre-corded TED talk, Steve Howard of IKEA speaks on “Let’s go all-in on selling sustainability.” Watch here.
11:33 p.m. The artist formerly known as “Keith Haring’s Ghost” (aka Chip Southworth) speaks on “Art: A Powerful Conduit for Change.” “There’s a fine line between street art and vandalism,” Southworth says. Southworth discuss his status as a wanted man. Inspired by the City of Jacksonville’s failure to pass the HRO and Mark Zimmerman’s “not guilty” verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Southworth began painting traffic light signal boxes.
1:15 p.m. Joseph Shuck of Antique Animals performs a song about Jacksonville (“whenever you’re in trouble, we’ll be there in a double”). Behind him a video of aerial shots of Jacksonville plays. “Drones can be cool,” he says.
1:30 p.m. In speaking on the importance of place, Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute says, “Place is more than a spot on a map. Place is what you makes your hometown different than mine. It what makes the physical surrounding worth caring about.
Summing up his talk on “Where Am I? A Sense of Uniqueness,” he says, “Remember this: the image of a community is fundamentally important to its economic well-being. to econo well being. Every single day in America, people make decisions where to live, invest, vacation, retire … based on what a community looks like.”
1:48 p.m. Event co-host Hope McMath says, “And that is the talk that I think the mayor should see.”
1:45 p.m. In a pre-corded TED talk, Mick Cornett, mayor of Oklahoma City, speaks on “How an obese town lost a million pounds.” Watch here.
3:01 p.m. Hashtag count: 9. Failed attempts at doing a Justin Timberlake take-off “I’m Bringin’ Hashtags Back”: 1. (I kid because I love. At least I didn’t make a “Weird Al” reference.)
3:02 p.m. In a pre-recorded TED talk, actress/comedian Julie Sweeney speaks on “Let’s go all-in on selling sustainability.” Watch here.
3:10 p.m. Hashtag count: 10
3:11 p.m. “Our fixation on genitals is so entrenched [in society] it serves as a fundamental reference for how we relate to others. It keeps up bound to groups based a body part,” says Judi Herring, speaking on “Gender bound: Lesson from the world between.” When a child is born, she says, they are automatically put into the life track of a male or a life track of a female. But for the intersex child, doctors and parents choose to conform genitalia to “preserve psychological well-being.” As a reminder, it took 2,000 years for Copernicus to prove the Sun—not the Earth—the center of the universe.
3:25 p.m. Mama Blue takes the stage. “I don’t have anything deep to say about my songs except that they are seeds and I am grateful—and feel blessed—to be planting them in the most fertile soil in Jacksonville today,” she says. After the first song, she says she’s going to try not to “count” with her hips. “I don’t want to hypnotize anybody.”
3:39 p.m. Hashtag count: 11
3:30 p.m. “How much would you pay to save your memories, your cognition, your identity? … How much would you pay to keep your motor controls so that you could dress yourself, feed yourself, go to the bathroom alone.” Dr. Spring Behrouz of NeuroInitiative referring to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, respectively. Speaking on “The dynamic future of neuroscience,” Behrouz warns that the number of individuals diagnosed with both diseases will become dramatically higher as life expectancy increases. “There is no cure, but there is hope,” she says. “But we are warriors fighting these unfair diseases.”
BREAKING NEWS: Al Letson does a pretty impressive Mick Jagger impression—dancing, not singing. #smoove
5:07 p.m. In a pre-corded TED talk, French street artist JR speaks on “Use art to turn the world inside out.” Watch here.