Captain Of The Sea Shepherd - Paul Watson Stole The Show At TEDxSF...
TEDxSF, one of the local TED conference communities, held an event Tuesday evening at the California Academy of Sciences, in the planetarium auditorium.
About 350 people watched live presentations and many more were in a lounge watching the live stream of the event on monitors. The theme was courage and resilience.
First up was Dr John Gray, the relationship expert known for his best seller "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus." He was very good, sharing some research on how women experience stress and the hormones needed to deal with stress.
He said that women in the workplace experience twice as much stress as men and they need the hormone oxytocin to deal with the stress, and that comes from doing nurturing tasks. Often, working women aren't able to do enough nurturing tasks to deal with their stress because work based tasks generate testosterone.
Men perform work tasks that generate testosterone, which is used to deal with their stress. When a man is sitting on a couch, he is regenerating testosterone.
Because women are suffering from stress at much higher levels in the workplace, and they are unable to deal with the stress well, they will start dying earlier than men, he predicted.
Jonathan Abrams, the founder of Friendster, ran through his history as an entrepreneur. He said it was a roller coaster lifestyle. He said he did it for the oxycotin boost. It was a content-lite presentation.
Ultimate Fighter Champion Nate Quarry was up next. He delivered an inspirational story of how he overcame many personal challenges to win his championship. Afterwards during the break, there was a crowd of people around him wanting to hear more.
Charles Huang, co-founder of Red Octane, the company behind Guitar Hero, the fastest video game to reach $1 billion in sales, praised his wife for allowing him to take out a second mortgage to finance Guitar Hero. He was turned down by most retailers and all the VCs.
Julianne Wurm told a harrowing tale of being kidnapped by a Latino gang member in Houston and then left for dead in a remote rural location. She made a miraculous recovery and then went on to teach in the largest Latino high school in Los Angeles. She gave everyone a lottery ticket to demonstrate the odds of this happening to anyone.
Celina Realuyo, a former US diplomat, spoke about risk and the need to prepare. It almost got interesting at one point.
Captain Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was great. He spoke about his life on the high seas, harassing and sometimes sinking, whaling ships. He told of his encounter with a sperm whale and how its eye communicated a message to him about the insanity of human exploitation of the oceans.
He said he had never been charged with any illegal acts. He also said that he doesn't save whales on behalf of any movement, or care about the criticism he receives as an "eco terrorist," he does what he does for the whales. He enforces international laws because countries lack the will or resources to enforce existing laws.
He once said that worms are more important than humans, deliberately, to point out that worms can survive without humans but humanity could not survive without worms and the rest of our finely tuned ecological habitat.
David Shenks, an author of science books spoke about how environment affects our gene expression. Genes are turned on and off by environmental factors. I think most people already knew this.
The lineup at the prior TEDxSF was a bit more interesting, but it was good to spend some time with the TEDxSF community and the organizers did another excellent job of curating a (mostly) interesting evening.
It would be excellent in future TEDXSF events to see the "x" stand for experimental. I'd love to see what could be done in the 18 minute TED presentation slot that isn't like all other TED presentations.
It would be great to have an interactive experience because all you do is sit there and watch -- and you can do that at home. I'd love to be able to interact with people at the event, not just at the break and the reception .
One of my suggestions is to askso everyone that attends to prepare a five minute talk, that they can be randomly asked to stand up and present it. It could be about the topic of the meeting, or something about them. Only about half-a-dozen people might be chosen but I know that people would rise to the occasion.
Many eople are terrified of public speaking but this would be amongst a very friendly and encouraging group. And like many of the TED speakers, who often share stories of things happening to them out of the blue and how they dealt with it -- how to deal with being randomly chosen to give a five minute talk would certainly get the blood flowing. Plus it is something to chat about during the social part of the evening...
I love how the organizers scheduled musical performances. I'd love to see this at the regular conferences that I go to all the time. (Contact me for suggestions of local concert pianists, opera, and other performers)
Here is a PearlTree related to the event: