I Went to a TEDx Talk Once


f I should have a daughter…”
That was the line of the first TED talk video that I ever saw. In it, Sarah Kay performed her spoken word piece, “Point B”, and went on to share about how she has grown as an artist. Since that video, TED talks have been a deep part of both my academic and personal life. When I found out that Ithaca College would be hosting their own independent TED conference, I knew that I had to be in that audience.


After my application was reviewed, I was part of a 70 person audience who had the privilege of listening to speakers from the local Ithaca area. There were a total of 16 speakers and a total of 19 TED talks that we listened to. If you’re wondering how long this conference was, let me tell you, it was long. The conference started around 10am and ended around 5pm. However, with each speaker talking for at most 18 minutes, it was an easy and inspiring eight hours to sit through.

ted notes

Out of all the talks that were given, my favorites would have to be the talks on Redefining Disability and The Importance of Growing Local Music. Mary Bowers spoke on how disability is a social construction that has been determined by cultural practices and attitudes. She closed her talk redefining disability as “uncelebrated human variation”, which I thought was so refreshingly beautiful. Doug Turnbull, on other hand, shared that 95% of revenue in the music industry is actually taken up by only 2.5% of songs. Because of this, it’s incredibly hard for local musicians to gain exposure when up against mainstream music. is an online program that generates labels, compares songs, and makes up intelligent playlists that consist of artists that you like while also exposing you to local artists that are similar. It’s an idea that really resonated with me and something that I would like to use more often in the future.


What I took away most from this, however, wasn’t just one singular idea but rather a realization of how important innovation and the sharing of innovative ideas is. It was amazing to hear people speak so boldly and passionately about what they believe. It has definitely only furthered my belief that you should try to read as many books, watch as many films, and hear as many people speak as possible. You never know what may spark your next big idea!Let me know what your favorite TED talks are in the comments below!

– Carissa

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