Community Voices, Courage to Dream:
TEDx Maui – It’s an amazing experience.

TEDxMaui - Community Voices, Courage to Dream 2012
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TEDx event – It’s an amazing experience.

Ever attended a TED or a TEDx event? It’s an amazing experience. Think of it as random acts of inspiration –a community of individuals drawn together to share their passion about ideas, inventions, music, life experiences and much more. Some speak. Some listen. Everyone connects. It’s a pretty darn cool experience. And Maui is lucky to have its own.

TEDx events (x=independently organized TED events) have been taking place for years, in big cities and small towns, even in remote locations like the “Burning Man Festival” in the Black Rock desert, where in 2011 I participated in (I don’t think one can simply attend) my first TEDx. As crazy and wonderful and inspiring as my desert experience was, last year I participated in the newly minted – TEDxMaui 2012. It was really special. And next Sunday, January 13, it’s back to inspire us again. I can’t wait.

 

I got to explore alternative energy.

Close to heart and home, the 2012 TEDxMaui event drew me to the spirituality of the aina (land) and the Hawaiian culture. I learned more about sand than I thought possible. I got to meet W.S. Merwin, Maui’s own U.S. Poet Laureate. I got to explore alternative energy. Sway in my seat to Taiko drumming. Yet, as a photographer, forged out of gritty social justice photojournalism in the deep south, the presentation which perhaps moved me most profoundly might have been Lisa Kristine’s images of global slavery. I left our 2012 gathering fired up, impressed with the endless talent this world offers, and again, reminded of my own unique dreams.

As we search for ways to build community, to build bridges of communication between our cultures, what better way to do so than to gather together to be inspired, by each other, and by that tiny voice inside oneself. If you haven’t had the chance to do so, join me and buy a ticket for a day of pure inspiration. Guaranteed, it’ll be worth every penny.