TEDxSnoIsleLibraries

2017: Sharing Our Future

The theme for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2017 was "Sharing Our Future." Speakers and performers explored the promise, risks, expectations and potential meaning of a future. The event was held at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo.

Speakers

Select a speaker below to learn more about them and view their talk.

Bill Bernat

Bill Bernat

Bill Bernat

Mental Health Advocate

"I love learning about people and their inner worlds. I work in technology marketing and I enjoy what I do. I meditate badly, but consistently. Creativity is another key wellness activity for me. I'm a mental-health awareness advocate and share positive messages about life as a comedian, storyteller, playwright, actor and speaker. I live well with bipolar condition most of the time and I've overcome a few things such as overeating, addiction (nine years clean) and social anxiety. My greatest joy is watching people who are struggling emotionally find ways to beat personal demons and get glimpses of inner peace."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"Bill helped people living with mental-health conditions feel connected, valued and empowered."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"In addition to providing books, music, movies, computers, Internet access and more, libraries hold immeasurably valuable public spaces in our culture. They are among the few places open to all humans, with no barriers to entry. Libraries are gardens that grow education, community and financial opportunity — and share the harvest freely with anyone and everyone."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. In this talk, she teaches two profound lessons that provided great comfort to me. First, she teaches us that mental illness is physical, like a body health condition. Then she explains how she felt such relief from her mental chatter, and euphoria, when she saw that we are the life force power of the universe—not just the personas we identify with."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"An astronaut or martyr/singer/dancer, depending on whether 'Jesus Christ Superstar' was playing when I was asked to choose."

How to connect with depressed friends

Dhruvik Parikh

Dhruvik Parikh

Dhruvik Parikh

Student, researcher, entrepreneur

"As a high-schooler, education obviously plays a major role in my everyday life, but to me, its value goes beyond the time I spend in the classroom. I believe that education is the key to unlocking one's true potential, and so I have used a variety of platforms such as online courses and independent learning to complement my school work. Not only is education important for us to gain the skills to succeed in life and in the workforce, but it allows us to push the limits of human society. Whether it is adding to the body of human knowledge or solving societal issues, education is crucial for progress."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"These days, we have access to all kinds of information at our fingertips, but this can easily become overwhelming. Libraries offer an environment where people can go to learn how to use these new technologies responsibly and incorporate them with existing technologies. This is especially important for children, but it applies to anyone who wants to further their knowledge."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"My favorite TED talk is "Why we do what we do" by Tony Robbins, where he talks about six 'invisible forces' that influence our actions. The reason I liked it so much is that I found myself looking for these forces in my own daily life after watching it."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"When I was seven, I was convinced that I was going to be a paleontologist. When I visited the Pacific Science Center with my family, I always spent the most time in the dinosaur exhibit because I was in awe of these ancient creatures. Another thing that drew me to paleontology was my love for puzzles. I saw fossils as puzzles whose pieces were spread far and wide, just waiting to be found and put together, and this sounded really fun to do."

Freedom from fossil fuels is closer than you think

Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Astronaut

"I am a mother and wife who fiercely loves her daughter and husband; I am an advocate for the environment; I am a former space traveler; I am an educator; and I am a runner."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"Dedicated to her family and friends, the environment and to improving education for all."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries offer a door into the possible; they connect people to imaginary worlds and reality; they provide more than books; they are a safe space; they are a cherished space. I have many fond memories with libraries."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"Brene Brown on vulnerability." If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"An astronaut, and I did get to be an astronaut."

Test before you invest, use analogs

Kathy Coffey

Kathy Coffey

Kathy Coffey

Community champion

I am Executive Director of Leadership Snohomish County, which provides education and opportunities for people and organizations to strengthen our community.

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"Mom, friend, community champion. She made a difference."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"They are gathering places. Hubs. Places where community gathers, meets, learns, connects and grows. Libraries are non-partisan, accept all cultures and religions.

"As we wade through more information than had ever been available to us in history, the library provides tools and trained staff to help us find the data we need to truly be informed.

"Many also assume that everyone has access to the internet and a computer and that is not true. The library provides access and education. The programming for children coming up in the world is invaluable. Providing books and resources in many languages, to help us cross cultural barriers, is a truly important."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"I listened to Erin McKean's The Joy of Lexicography years ago and ended up submitting a word for the dictionary. The words were "etroduce" and "E-troduction." After hearing this TED talk, I thought even I can add a word to a dictionary. So I submitted it to her Wordnik and got an acceptance letter. I felt for a bit that it should be included on my epitaph. I was the proud submitter of a word to a dictionary. I have since seen Urban Dictionary has predated my submission, but I am good with that. I still have the letter!"

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"First thought is a biological anthropologist. I had a great rock collection and a creek in my back yard. I loved fossils and digging in the dirt and finding life in the water and world. New life. Signs of old life. It was like a messy puzzle and I found the adventure of it all-consuming. I was an only child so I got to spend a lot of time wading, digging and dreaming."

Connect and lead, how we create community

Mark Perez

Mark Perez

Mark Perez

Student at Cascadia College

"I'm a  leadership advocate, runner, a social introvert, and a Netflix enthusiast."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"It comes, one choice at a time."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries are important because they allow people of all sorts to engage in creative thinking."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"Simon Sinek's "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action" because it makes people think about the origins and fundamentals of their beliefs."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"My answer would be the same. A speaker who could inspire people to make their mark on the world."

More than you think you are

Nic O'Neill

Nic O'Neill

Nic O'Neill

Flyer of kitese

"It seems silly to say, but kites have defined my life ever since I was introduced to them. Through the magic of flight, I have traveled the world, met countless people that have influenced the person I am today, and have ultimately found true love. I believe that it is my job to help spread happiness in the world, and elevate those around me during the short time that I am here. It isn't through luck that I found my way here, it is through taking a chance at every opportunity, even if I knew I might fail."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries still serve as access points for knowledge. While the ever increasing speed of our news feeds bombard us with soundbites and micro-moments, it is often times the libraries that give true information and usable knowledge in easier to digest morsels that we have a higher chance of remembering. Perhaps the greatest purpose they serve is making seemingly small things interesting. Librarians were the first people to come up with and use the ever loved social media 'Listicle.' Be it the top ten things you didn't know about Dutch Masterpiece painters, or six must-read books for summer love etc...  I have loved watching how various libraries have evolved to music halls, art galleries, kids learning programs and more. Above all, they are the one community resource that best serves our communities. Don't get me wrong, I still love the smell of an old book, and keep a full library of my own filled with novels printed before 1895. But, Libraries today are a lot like my personal library at home. It isn't a 'quiet' hush-hush place to read a book. It is a living thriving space, with music, a comfy chair, some art projects, a computer, and sometimes my dog to read to."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"I have a top one for various categories in my life and they all mean a lot. Ones that I go back to often and re-watch. The most recent one that has moved into my top list would be Saying YES! to your Weirdness by JP Sears. I have been a fan of his deadpan humor for some time, but I have really enjoyed listening to this TEDx talk because it reminds me of a few critical things: 1. Don't try to be like everyone else, and don't try to be weird, just be you. 2. Don't get trapped using all of that standard jargon everyone else uses, sometimes it sounds completely shallow. Only say something truly meaningful, not what sounds meaningful."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"Marine biologist or oceanographer."

Boundless wonder/How kites let us soar

Richard Yonck

Richard Yonck

Richard Yonck

Futurist

"I love to learn. Reading, lectures, research, conversation, introspection …. It's a tremendous source of pleasure for me. And the more I learn, the more I realize just how intricately interconnected everything in our universe is – past, present and future. Not interconnected in some metaphysical or supernatural sense, but connected in a truly causal web of chained events that interact as an ongoing series of deeply complex cycles. This view informs my personal philosophy, a philosophy born not of dogma and doctrine, but one that much more resembles a roving diner tasting a series of plates at a vast ontological smorgasbord."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"We are all stardust."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries represent a long tradition of community-based knowledge, dissemination of information and learning. They are a crucial part of the democratic commons available to all regardless of education, wealth or power. Where once libraries were primarily repositories of texts, today their purview extends to all forms of media, as well as 3-D printing and programming."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"Ed Boyden's‘A Light Switch for Neurons. Besides being an incredibly innovative converging of technologies, optogenetics (the topic of this talk) may wind up being one of the critical methods of understanding unraveling the language of the brain. Many people including myself consider it research worthy of a Nobel Prize. Boyden was one of several key figures behind the development of optogenetics."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"A doctor aboard a starship."

How technology transforms human intelligence

Ron Carucci

Ron Carucci

Ron Carucci

Leadership consultant

"I am a proud New Yorker through and through.  I come from a large family, and family is everything to me.  I am a learner in all senses of the word.  My faith shapes how I learn, my work shapes and demands that I learn and requires me to help others learn.  I am a dad of two amazing kids and they are my pride, joy, gift and inspiration for why I get up in the morning.  I am passionate about leaving the world better than I found it every day and I'm very privileged to be doing work that provides the opportunity to do that every day."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"Generous, funny and smart, he lived with reckless abandon for his family, faith and leaders he served."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Because we need gathering places to exchange ideas and think new thoughts. We need places to train our minds to acquire knowledge and test our assumptions. Libraries are so much more than book-lending. They are hubs of thought leadership and learning."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"I think this beautiful message from Megan Phelps-Roper of learning to see the world differently than you did and letting go (and sacrificing to do it) of deeply held beliefs for the sake of something better takes courage, and so needed today."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"Alvin Toffler, the futurist."

How to be more powerful than powerless

Sargun "Sargi" Handa

Sargun "Sargi" Handa

Sargun "Sargi" Handa

Student, Kamiak High School

Sargun Handa is a student at Kamiak High School. She is part of Key Club, Human Rights Club, Natural Helpers, Hugs for Ghana, Free the Children, Knights in Action, Orchestra Council and the varsity golf team. And that's just in school!

In her community, Sargun is a junior writer for "The View from Harbour Pointe" magazine, office intern for the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce, Aerospace Ambassador for the Institute of Flight Museum, a tutor at Kumon and a member of the Mukilteo Youth Advisory Committee.

After this event, one of her goals is to carry on the dream of Kamiak alum and previous TEDxSnoIsleLibraries speaker Radhika Dalal to organize a TEDxYouth@KHS event so that more teens can make an impact together.

Sargun hopes to become a teacher or guidance counselor and to advise a community service club.

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"She truly cared about others and making life better for everyone. She loved her friends and family more than anything."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"I have always been a huge bookworm! Libraries contain all the endless knowledge and information I could need just at my fingertips. They have amazing resources for my schoolwork and amazing books for my entertainment. Sno-Isle Libraries have changed my life. Who could imagine a world without free books? Or just books at all?"

If you could recommend a TED talk, which talk would it be and why

"I would recommend The history of African-American social dance by Camille A. Brown because it is so different from all the other TED talks I've seen. It gives you vivid imagery and history behind what some people might think as just coordinated movements to a rhythmic beat. Camille shows you the real heart and soul of African dance, helping them during centuries of slavery. She talks about issues such as cultural appropriation as well and how they dealt with it. African-Americans created Hip Hop, making their mark on dance history forever. This talk is kind of like mine because, even though there are many African languages, they decided to share their future with this unspoken language that everyone could understand. Teens as a whole can share their future with the unspoken language of community service that everyone can understand."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"I would be an author right now. My role models were J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, and Dr. Suess. I realized later on that I was better at helping others than at writing my own novels. I want to be a teacher now, but authors and teachers help people in very similar ways! They both help people grow and learn. Either our imagination can the only thing holding us behind or it can be the only thing pulling us forward."

Be a voice, not an echo

Tom Sebastian

Tom Sebastian

Tom Sebastian

Executive Director, Compass Health

Tom Sebastian has dedicated his life to servant leadership. As the CEO of Compass Health with more than 30 years of healthcare leadership experience, he is most fulfilled by using his experience to empower those around him to thrive. Faith, family, laughter and community service are his constants in times of joy and difficulty. An avid marathoner, he embraces a commitment to persisting through the long-hauls, while appreciating each step by recognizing that the present is a gift to be cherished.

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"A life committed to enhancing the lives of others."

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries represent one of the last true community gathering places that offer equitable access and learning resources for everyone, indiscriminately. They serve as a safe place, a gathering space, a civic center, and equal ground for continuing education, providing access to technology and information for all, including those who might otherwise face barriers to these critical resources."

If you could recommend one TED talk, which talk would it be and why?

"How do we heal medicine by Atul Gawande. As a surgeon, author and public health journalist, Gawande shares a profound analysis of the challenges of our current medical system. He suggests that moving from a model focused on specialists and components to a unified and collaborative system approach will reduce medical costs and, most importantly, place people back at the center of healthcare. Gawande's points resonate with me just as profoundly today as they did a few years ago – and they serve as inspiration for advancing patient-centered initiatives. I still believe that we can create an even better healthcare system by focusing on integration and collaboration among specialties, to ensure no one is left behind."

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"Like many young boys, I would have likely chosen to be a police officer or fireman."

Integrated care: connecting medical and behavioral care

Zsofia Pasztor

Zsofia Pasztor

Zsofia Pasztor

Farmer Frog Executive Director

"I became a horticulturist because I loved plants, animals and really didn't want to be around people. Then I grew up. As life threw curveballs and trick questions my way, I realized that the only thing that makes life worth living is the people we connect with. Authenticity, love, compassion and vulnerability are the qualities that lead to kindness and joy. While I am still a passionate 'manifester' of creative and joyful ideas, I now understand that we are each other's keepers. I grow children in the gardens I work in."

What would you like your epitaph to read?

"I was here, I lived, I loved ..." Beyonce

Why do you believe libraries are important?

"Libraries are gathering places, safe places, thinking places, creative spaces for the silent, still, small voice. They provide access to the world without having to go far. They are interesting ... especially old libraries, where 'all that was before' is kept. I love the smell of these places. The large doors as they open and no one says anything loud, only whispering. It is the church of knowledge and learning."

If you could recommend one TED talk, what would it be and why?

"Oh dear, this depends on what day it is ... tonight I think it's Ron Finely's A guerilla gardener in South Central LA. But, yesterday it was Sir Ken Robinson's Do schools kill creativity?

If you could have chosen when you were seven years old what you wanted to be, what/who would you be right now?

"A farmer and a mother of a bunch of kids. I would be me."

Growing kids in the school garden

Partners

Organizations that partner with TEDxSnoIsleLibraries help transform communities and the marketplace through the power of ideas.

Their contributions cover the cost of staging a world-class event, allowing us to offer free admission. Please let these organizations know you appreciate their support of TEDxSnoIsleLibraries.

Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation

Fiscal agent and founding partner

The Daily Herald
Community Transit
Edmonds Community College
Everett Community College
Coastal Community Bank
Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett
Snohomish Health District
KSER.org 90.7
Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce
Rakuten Overdrive
Washington Energy Services
Whole Foods Market
Starbucks