Sunday, October 14, 2012
Highlights From TEDxHonolulu: City 2.0
I had the honor of attending TEDxHonolulu yesterday at the beautiful Aulani resort. It was a wonderful setting for an inspiring event. There were over 300 attendees from all types of personal and professional backgrounds. The Master of Ceremonies was Kealoha who is an amazing and dynamic speaker. If you ever get the chance to see him perform his slam poetry...it is awesome. There were so many speakers that impressed me. For the most part, the theme of the day is that we need to work as a community and start to care about our neighbors. We can make a difference and we all need to be a part of change if we'd like our community to positively change for the better.
Although all of the presenters were outstanding, I'd like to highlight 3 that stood out to me.
Forest Frizzel is the Deputy Director for the Department of Information Technology for the city of Honolulu. Forest brought our attention to the efforts that are being done to bring communities together and to leverage the power of people working together and technology to better our city. He shared about 'open government' and citizen engagement. You should check out Code for America to see what cities are taking part in this initiative. One of the best ideas shared was the ability to adopt a civil defense siren. This idea gets citizens involved in caring for the equipment and lessens the burden on the city to manage the sirens alone. Forest also shared about Da Bus app that utilizes GPS to show the location of bus stops and arrival times. Honolulu 311 app will allow you to report potholes, broken streetlights, cracked sidewalks, illegal dumping, vandalized/broken signs, and abandoned cars. The key now is to get the word out and encourage people to use the technology to get involved. Definitely check out the rest of the apps at Can-Do Honolulu.
One of the most moving talks was from Mark Patterson who is the Warden at the Women's Community Correctional Center. The first thing I'd like to say is that he is definitely the right person for the job. Our community is very fortunate to have him in charge because he truly has the heart to help these women and better the lives of their children and family. The main message from Mark is that we need to return to a 'village' frame of mind. We need to start caring for one another and help to stop the cycle that affects inter-generational incarceration. To read more about this amazing man, check out the article "Can Prison Be a Healing Place?"
Timber Hawkeye was enlightening with his talk entitled "Sit Happens." He offered his advice for being happy: "Be grateful." Many of us go through our lives flying from one thing to another and don't take the time to stop, sit, and think about what really makes our lives meaningful and all that we should be grateful for. Appreciation instead of entitlement is Timber's key to success. He also reminded us that it is not our beliefs that make us a better person, it is our actions...so true! Check out his book called Buddhist Boot Camp so that you can make "Sit Happen" in your life too.
Finally, here is my favorite TED Talk of the night, as well as the awesome closing video by Kenji Croman that showcases Honolulu is a spectacular way. See you at the next TEDx event!