You Think You Know: 7 Lessons From TEDxSanAntonio


At yesterday’s TEDxSanAntonio there was no shortage of ideas and inspiration. 17 presenters shared stories and performances that broadened minds by addressing the theme of “You Think You Know“.

Every presentation was great, especially when taken into account that most centered around local issues, organizations, and flavor. Each presentation offered insight worth pursuing, each was a conversation starter, and likely inspired change in the people who attended.

In a day full of thought provoking quotes, seven moments stood out. Here are some of the key lessons based on quotes from TEDxSanAntonio speakers:

“Change is hard, it’s uncomfortable and its threatening”Laura G. Cole

Change, no matter how technologically amazing, is difficult. It requires a measured approach, a well thought out process and the knowledge that making the leap will be difficult for some. Change in any system at some point is undeniable, making our ability to lead it all the more critical.

“For me (having) a mission turned occupation, into vocation”James Andrews

We’ve all had occupations, but less often, we have vocations, those causes and efforts we deem worthy of our greatest dedication. It’s not just about comprehending words on a wall, it’s about identifying with the mission, and that’s an incredibly personal task. If you can do so, work won’t feel like work, it will feel like time well spent.

“Often, our declared beliefs don’t reflect our implicit biases”Denise Hernandez

The sum of our behaviors reflect biases we are not conscious of, and they have very real (even if unintended) consequences. They can betray the values we hold dear with the people we care about most. Take the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. Learn where you stand and do something about it.

“What puts you at a greater risk for compassion fatigue, is empathy.”Amy Cunningham

Take time for yourself. If you have a high degree of empathy, you take on the stress of others. It adds up, and this leads to fatigue that manifests itself similar to stress brought about by traumatic situations. You can’t help others if you won’t make time for yourself. Meditate, exercise, read, hike, WHATEVER; stop, and help yourself first.

“Our cities are about life itself”Scott Allen

Architecture is more than just the design of efficient buildings, it’s about space that is responsive, highly in tune with the needs of people, the extension of culture, and our natural environment. Our cities are then a collection of these spaces and their interactivity, are about how we choose to live life itself.

“When you use images in your conversations, you gain superpowers”Kate Hayward

Images recall a skill we lost when we grew up. They ask us to communicate beyond words and expression, to metaphor, to essence. This often means our communication becomes clearer, even if what we draw isn’t. Draw your next conversation on a white board, cocktail napkin, note sheet, or whatever. Just be sure to use your superpowers for good!

“We need to change our focus from teacher-centered environments to student-centered environments”Colin Lang

Flip the classroom. Put the student at the center of the learning, rather than a system that was designed for a time long past. To empower students to solve problems that we don’t know exist yet, we have to teach them how to learn, and to apply knowledge and skills in real world environments.

It was a great day from start to finish.

The next TEDxSanAntonio event is scheduled for November 12, 2016, the first time the event will occur twice in one year. Everything about yesterday suggests we have a lot to look forward to in November.

Will you be there?


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