I had the chance to volunteer at TedxUMN recently … what a fun event for empowering individuals to make a difference in the world! There were 10 dynamic speakers, and each and every talk was a must see.
Some of my favorite moments, and a few words of wisdom that stuck with me:
David Ernst talked about his new concept Open Textbooks at the University of Minnesota and how it addresses the rising financial challenges for college students – especially around the rising costs of textbooks. David noted that student loan debt has risen above credit card debt in the US (now over 1 trillion dollars!) and many students now delay purchasing required textbook until they are falling behind in class. Open Textbook’s basic idea is to leverage Creative Commons and enable professors to find the books they need on the Open Textbook Catalog, take out only the pages they want, personalize it for their own course, and provide it to their students free of charge. I found this to be an exciting and innovative way to address the rising costs of textbooks.
My favorite Jamie Millard: Don’t Ask for Permission – reach out for your dreams and create your own opportunities. If you just graduated college or finished an unpaid internship/apprenticeship; you are no longer entitled to your dream job or a job at all for that matter. For example, you might apply for a job in social media and lose it because “we went with someone who knows illustrator and html!” Well don’t sit around and feel bad for yourself, go online and teach yourself. “Fake it till you make it, can sometimes very well be true,” Jamie said. She went through 5 unpaid internships, then taught herself the skills she needed to create Paper Darts, her literary arts magazine. Shortly thereafter, her dream job came looking for her her. What I got from this talk is that people should stop getting set back because people don’t think you are qualified. Go out there and learn how to network, hustle, and teach yourself skills online or at the library.
Krystal Rampalli then talked about Medical tourism – she explained about getting medical care abroad and the possible complications that arise. In one situation, a middle aged American man was in need of a kidney transplant. In the US there was an indefinite list of people ahead of him to get a transplant, but the doctors said not to worry because there are several other countries with no wait and exceptionally lower costs. Problem solved right? Not exactly. Krystal shared some of the unlikely complications that stood in the way of this kidney transplant, some of which would never have cross your mind.
You can see all of the talks from TEDxUMN 2013 on http://www.tedxumn.com soon. I encourage you to attend or volunteer at next years event; it was a great experience and I met so many amazing people! Thanks again TedxUMN for letting me be a part of your special day.