Our Top 3 Takeaways From TEDx Portsmouth
This year TEDx Portsmouth (formally known as TEDx PiscataquaRiver) upped its game. With The Music Hall as a host, it allowed the event to expand the list of attendees as well as enjoy the excitement of the heart of downtown Portsmouth – using Chestnut street as an extension of the event. Winter Holben (WH) was thrilled to be one of the sponsors, continuing our support of organizations that bring innovative thinking to our region. There were 15 speakers throughout the day, bringing a wide range of stories comparing the past to the present, most with an eye towards the future. All were delivering their own view of the theme, “That was Then.”
Between the inspirational speakers, outdoor yoga, African drumming, and connecting with other leaders in our community – the day was jam-packed. We enjoyed every second – but have found ourselves circling back to a few ideas that really resonated with us and the work we do here at WH, and will continue to influence us as we move ahead.
Empowering today’s children for the future
How do we provide the best education and services to today’s youth so that they are best prepared for the future? We loved the story from Chuck Ott, former superintendent and education leader, about empowering students by allowing them to self-govern - solving common problematic language with the introduction of grandparents in the hallways of Portsmouth High School. We also loved the compassionate call-to-action from Craig Welch, Executive Director of the Portsmouth Housing Authority, regarding the collective health of the children in our community as a means to reduce homelessness.
Innovating to benefit the planet
Sometimes saving the planet seems like an overwhelming task, but several presenters approached the topic from small changes that can add up to a large impact. We were excited to be the first to learn of the Music Hall’s complete elimination of single-use plastic as a result of Sustainable Seacoast’s Keith Tharp’s efforts, as well as learn of his continuing work with the local restaurants to follow suit. The discoveries shared by John Gargasz, Managing Director of Nanocomp Technologies Inc., were equally exciting – the invention of a new carbon based material called Miralon, the result of a group of scientists’ work here in New Hampshire, something that has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 3 billion tons.
The new reality of technology
We all know technology has rapidly changed our world – and we need to understand the effects to protect ourselves and the health of our children. Jon Giegengack - Founder of Hub Entertainment Reseach - enlightened us through his presentation of how games like Fortnite – and other “free” online experiences are changing the way we are influenced and marketed to, while Emily Calhoun, a naturalist at a local science center, gave us insight into Nature Deficit Disorder, how the lack of adventurous outdoor time is a actually negatively effecting the equilibrium and visual/spatial development of children.
To check out all of the fascinating presenters as well as some videos shared throughout the day, click here.