TEDx Opportunity

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For the past few years I have been watching TED Talks like they were tv shows for most people. When I am on an airplane I download speeches that I can watch and continue to be inspired by. I must have watched a few hundred talks and I just found out recently that I will get an opportunity to deliver my first ever TEDx Talk at SDSU in late January. I am so excited and can’t wait to get on stage and deliver my story.

The focus of the talk will be on two main topics: The first topic is a concept I have been socializing for the past few months, “Are You Trying to Be the Answer Rather than Solving the Problem?” The second concept is about using capitalism to foster social change. I am going to start of the speech with the poem that Ilise, my wife, wrote when we were in Uganda last summer:

“Northern Uganda, Gulu a place of little money but love that runs through the burnt orange muddy streets. Boda/bodas that swipe by you on the wrong side of the road. No, that’s me on the wrong side of the road coming from a place where the values are upside down and twisted.

“Uganda, a world of we. We children who have lost our parents to the war, we children who are responsible for our siblings to clothe and educate them, we children who long for food in our bellies, clothes on our back and a roof over our heads.

“The US spells us, but it is a land of “I’s.” I want, I need, I deserve, I don’t care about what’s happening around the world it is all about me. Only I matter.

“Uganda, a land of strength – where mothers carry jerry cans of water on their heads so their families will have water. Children walk barefoot long distances for an education we take for granted. Beautiful faces that radiate warmth, trust, friendship and hope. A promise for the future and smiles that light up the world.

“We Americans thank you for showing us what you have here.”

Once I finish the poem I will talk about our journey to Africa and how we got there, the events that have shaped my life and how I plan on leaving this planet better than I found it. I have decided that I am successful and that the purpose of my life is now about focusing on significance. Then I will focus on the two concepts above before highlighting the stories of a number of amazing young people that I have been mentoring around the world.

I hope to make this talk compelling and something that will strike a cord in lots of people in the audience and those that might see it on YouTube once it is posted online. This should be a lot of fun and I can’t wait!

‘Til next time ……..

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