Walking into the foyer of the Lake Tahoe Community College, a hum of excitement could be felt throughout the crowd. Right in front are two tables, the entrance to an evening of inspiration and wonder. The greeters let us know our name badges are biodegradable AND filled with flower seeds. Our mouths drop in awe. They let us know all we need to do is plant them in our garden and presto… we’ll have beautiful flowers next spring. The badges aren’t just a novelty but a symbol of the theme for this year: Hidden In Plain Sight. After we grab a beer from a local brewery and sponsor, Lake Tahoe Aleworx, it’s time to find our seats….

Lake Tahoe Community College – Shining example of being Hidden in Plain Sight

A well-dressed man hops onto the stage and welcomes us to this year’s TEDx South Lake Tahoe event. He introduces himself as the president of the Lake Tahoe Community College. He lets us know his goal is to make TEDx South Lake Tahoe THE premiere destination event in California. As for this year’s theme of Hidden in Plain Sight, the school is a great example of this. They provide a vast education curriculum, professional resources and it’s ALL within Lake Tahoe. What a great connection! And with that, he welcomes us all to Coyote Country (the LTCC mascot, of course)!

Mic Smith & Helena Kletch – Music to open your mind and ears

Mic Smith

Mic Smith

Helena Kletch

Helena Kletch

To open each half of the program, musicians by the name of Mic Smith and Helena Kletch filled the theatre with melody. Mic opens the show and Helena brings us back from an intermission packed with food, drinks and stimulating conversation. A hush falls over the crowd as we listen intently. The music transports you to the mountains. You can imagine the sun shining onto your face and the smell of pine in the air. All the stresses of life are removed from your brain. As the songs finish, our minds are NOW ready.

An evening filled with so many speakers and great ideas, what were the highlights? Amazingly, each speaker brought something inspirational and exciting that we all could relate to in our own personal ways.

10 ideas you can walk away with from the TEDx South Lake Tahoe 2017 event:

Men and Women are different and we should be embrace these differences – Barbara Annis

The saying might go “Great Minds think alike” but the reality is great minds that think UNALIKE will ALWAYS outperform a business made up of the same genders.

Climate Change – Do you want to be right or save the planet? – Nick Exline

Nick Exline

Nick Exline

Proponents of Climate Change need to understand it’s up to us to talk to others as equals and understand how they view the world. Example: Solar Panels are just like guns – they protect your family in the event of a disaster.

What is my place in the world? Are we going to be left behind with the waves of change? – James Cross

Each business in the world is changing due to technology. You can no longer sit on the sidelines but must continue learning and picking up new skills. Technology is giving us the opportunity to bring communities and regions together that were left behind.

The world is changing quickly and the time is now for you to become THE ONE!  – Terry Jones

Technology has created opportunities where we no longer need corporations to start a business. All you need is an idea and you can be the innovator. On the other hand, a disruptor is the same idea except you aren’t the one who thought of it. Interesting twist.

Don’t look at the world as a cynic. See the possibilities! Nature would never say there’s only one answer – Dewitt Jones

DeWitt Jones

DeWitt Jones

No matter what the day brings, you should always try to find what is there to celebrate. In a world so focused on negativity, celebrating the positive puts our perspectives in balance.

He or she is just like me! – Dr. Stew Bittman

In today’s day and age, things are loved and people are used. It’s up to us as individuals to change that and do our best to not judge someone but rather get to know them without any preconceived notions.

Are you a hater or a creator? Anyone can become a creator! – Amy Wilkinson

Creating something new is like chewing glass, staring into the deep dark abyss, and it won’t be comfortable. But in the end, if you believe what you’re doing matters, you’ll keep going.

Slaughterhouses are the modern version of Whaling Ships – Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

With a growing human population and the raising of animals being a bigger cause of climate change than any other activity, clean meat is to factory farms as clean energy is to fossil fuels.

What do you define as success and what are you sacrificing for it? – Golbie Kamarei

High performing individuals sacrifice health, relationships and/or authenticity. Understanding your sacrifices and how to balance them will help you in the long run. If not, you WILL break down. You do NOT need to go extreme. Simply starting out with an extra 15 minutes of sleep can help!

E-go, main reason that I am better than you! – Adrian Ballinger

No matter who you are, checking your ego and keeping it in perspective gives you the chance to see your actual weaknesses. This will then give you the opportunity to improve on them and achieve your biggest goals in life.

Walking out of the auditorium, we feel more connected to the world and our passions rekindled. So many different topics and yet all intertwined into one major message. YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!