Richard Israel operates in a world that is technologically amazing – cameras that can shoot in virtual darkness, incredible clarity, hundreds of frames a second. He also operates in a world that’s visually overstimulated. He says we’re bombarded with photos of dogs and cats, lattes, new shoes and meals. We’re living in the world of the selfie, where the number of Instagram followers trumps artistic ability. He says photographers used to be influenced by the work that was produced, now there’s such an abundance of photos in the world, and there is such a reliance on technology. Richard started his working life at 15 for Vidal SassoonRead More →

Setting the table for service, Twyla opens the discussion by talking about the wine bar (Newton, NC) she recently opened, in addition to working for the Charlotte government. She understands government, business, people and that sometimes, size matters. When growing up in Newton (or Rootin, Tootin Newton as they used to call it), she strategically chose her 5 allotted books at the library and then would go spend her brother’s $5 at a beloved locally owned store. Years later, her mother opened a craft and sewing store (beanie babies) in their small town; the sales declined with the recession and the store ended up having toRead More →

Robbie Warren walks in two worlds. One world is the world of interior design, full of agendas and coffee. In the other world she is a Shaman.  Shamanism is a calling, she says “You can’t go to college and get a degree in Shamanism.” On September, 11, 2001 everything in Robbie’s life shifted. She realized there had to more to her life than her interior decorating business.. Six weeks later she found herself at ground zero, where she had a spiritual experience.  She prayed out loud for the first time in her life, even though she had been raised in a religious home it wasRead More →

Dee stood up and said, “I am at risk.” How do you define risk? How do you explain this academically and personally? Even as a grown man now, the statistics are against him. Dee is at risk because he’s a man. He’s at risk because he’s married. He’s at risk because he is a man of color. Chances of divorce are high in this country. Children of divorce parents are at a 40% chance higher of divorce. One in three children grow up in America without their biological dad in their home. The odds are against him. If he falls, what happens to his wife and kids?Read More →

  “The will to prepare often outlasts the skill of an individual,” says Brandon Cullen. Brandon grew up in Canada and had a very common dream people from around those parts, to one day play professional hockey. When he started, he says he was blessed with just enough ability to play – but as it turned out, he eventually cultivated the kind of skills needed to play in the NHL. Before he made it to the NHL, though, he was faced with two options: he could seek a hockey scholarship to college or get on the fast track to NHL. He says facing that kind of choiceRead More →

Oliver Lewis began his talk by showing a photo of a piece of wood burned art created by a robot as a demonstration of how familiar we are with the right brain, left brain concept. We all know it exists, but how does it work? From the start, Oliver had no experience as an artist. He also never thought he would create a robot. He went from being left brain to somewhere in the middle. When he was growing up, he didn’t know what he wanted to be. He didn’t know what his passion was. He loved math and science and pursued that as his education.Read More →

Andi Stevenson believes in the importance of always being a rookie – of not always being good at everything. She describes herself as a type A, introverted, executive nerd who discovered her inner sequin-wearing ballroom dancer through the power of being a beginner. Andi says that all the experiences in our lives push us away from trying new things, and toward being a “master.” We value being the star athlete, or an experienced leader in business. We want to be the ideal employee, the perfect parent, the community leader – we prize talent over courage. “We can get trapped by the idea of expertise, and theRead More →

Mike Watson welcomed Deborah Bosley to the stage, explaining he’s a better person for knowing her. Deborah opens with encouraging the ignition for us to all care about how information is presented and attention to simplicity. She begins with a family anecdote about her family’s health insurance, explaining the only way to compare plans was to print all of them out and physically compare them, by spreading them out across her dining room table. She decided to ask a senior center in town to help her understand; they agreed to assist saying, “no problem,” then handed her a thick binder. She realized, all they need is a simpleRead More →

Damon has spent 20 years in the wood and wood products sales industry. He works with people who make things and loves the creation aspect of the business. One day on a sales call, he ran into another gentleman who was hauling large cedar boards. When Damon asked what the boards were for he discovered the man was making his own casket. Damon was a little taken aback and didn’t know quite what to say. The man told him that the wood for the casket was from a tree he had planted at his grandmother’s house when he was six years old, after time thisRead More →

Allison came to TEDxCharlotte today to talk about transportation and its power to transform communities — to make them safer and healthier. And to open our eyes to inequality right here in our our backyard. When we drive our cars to work alone, or carpool, or telecommute, we miss the opportunities to engage with our neighbors. We miss the opportunities to experience new streets or visit local businesses that we might support if we walked, rode the bus, or chose to ride to work on two wheels instead of four. 76% of us are driving alone in a car every day. This lack of interaction isRead More →