Ninth annual TEDxSanAntonio


Breahna Luera and Josh Peck

TEDxSanAntonio held its ninth annual event on Nov. 9. This year’s theme was “re:frame,” which was meant to engender conversations that presented issues from different perspectives. Nine speakers took the stage, covering topics that ranged from recoloring the outdoors to overcoming a creative block.

Speaker Alex Bailey, executive director of Black Outside, spent his time speaking about the importance of recoloring the outdoors. Bailey grew up loving the outdoors but found there were few people who looked like him involved in outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Bailey now works to bring more African Americans into outdoor activities with his organization that develops outdoor programming for youth of color.

Speaker Allison Schrager, an economist and writer, used the TEDx stage to talk about negotiation and the value of taking risks. After studying a Nevada brothel, Schrager found that one of the most valuable parts of negotiation is being told “no.” If you’re never hearing a “no,” Schrager claims, you aren’t asking for enough. Schrager intended for her talk to be applied across the spectrum of risk-taking in life, whether it is asking for a raise at work or determining whether skydiving is worth it.

Speaker Dan Cooper, a retired businessman, engaged the audience with props while discussing his take on the creative process. Cooper listed places and mindsets that engage creativity such as a blue sky, messy room or youthful mindset. He compared being creatively blocked to playing with a Chinese finger trap — the more one forces themselves to be creative, the harder it gets. Cooper closed his talk by comparing the mindsets for being creative and implementing creativity. He stated that while having a more relaxed mindset helps engage creativity, one must hone in and focus in an organized atmosphere to fully consummate their work.

Speaker Jenny Lawson, a blogger and writer, shared her mental health journey with the audience and illuminated the benefits of sharing one’s story. She shared that the reason she continues to get help with her mental health is because of the stories others have shared with her about realizing they are worth getting help. Lawson’s closing remarks encouraged others with mental health issues to share their stories with loved ones and reassured them that getting help is worthwhile.

TEDx events are local, independent productions that offer TED-like experiences on a smaller scale. Speakers can apply to share their ideas in 18 minutes or less with the audience as well as have their talk live-streamed and shared on the web.

TEDxSanAntonio is organized by Fiesta for the Mind, a local non-profit, which hosts many events like TED women and TED youth along with TEDx to promote sharing ideas to create a community that better allows for conversations that stimulate collaboration and innovation. The organization is staffed entirely by volunteers who share the same goals.

The TEDxSanAntonio website states Fiesta for the Mind “creates opportunities for life-long ­learners to gather and discuss ideas, issues and solutions, celebrate big ideas to make the world a better place through technology, entertainment, design, collaboration, science and the arts.”