TEDxPeachtree came back to Atlanta last Friday but if you weren’t able to be part of the sold out audience of 500 or catch the live stream here’s a taste of what you missed.

What’s TEDxPeachtree?

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Catalyzing Cities

The overarching theme this year was “Catalyze” – how can we catalyze change.

Sessions were then broken into four groups:

  1. Cities
  2. Creativity
  3. Classrooms
  4. Crowds

I’ll start with Cities and follow up with others in upcoming posts.

Jeff Shinabarger

What If We Could All Lead a Life of Excessive Generosity?

  • Everybody has something to give – giving isn’t just about money but can also be time, clothes, love, a roof, and more.
  • “Excessive Generosity” is a lifestyle choice that we must actively make.
  • When you leave today simply ask yourself, could you be more generous?

Jeff had a great personal story and got the crowd going early. I’d love to ask him, though, what practical ways you can pursue this lifestyle? I doubt many would have any issue with the concept of “Excessive Generosity”, but putting the words into action is a much bigger hurdle.

David Green

Street Legal

  • Perception vs Reality leads us to make bad decisions – did you know the carbon footprint of producing & shipping roses from Kenya to Paris is drastically less than doing so from (relatively) nearby Amsterdam?
  • Streets aren’t just for moving cars
  • History has shown all great cities have a great street system
  • Perception in cities is that streets are bad and green-space is good, but the reality is much different

David’s presentation skills were great and really helped drive his message. I’m intrigued by his idea, but my next question is, how do you do anything about this in a city that’s already been built?

Jim Hackler

Auto Intervention

  • Came armed with stats about the benefits of bikes vs cars
  • More bikes produced in the world this year than cars

I struggled a little bit with Jim’s style, which was less of a cohesive story and built more around quips and one-liners. If I had the chance to follow-up with Jim I’d ask where Atlanta ranks in terms of being a “bike-able” city. What needs to come first, the bikers or a city that enables them?

Rashid Nuri

Salvation in the Soil

  • There is no “culture” without agriculture
  • Quality food should be a right, not a privilege
  • Example of someone who’s spent time mastering their craft over countless years
  • Urban Agriculture – working farms located on vacant city lots – has a much greater positive impact than simply the food it provides

Really impactful presentation to wrap up the first morning session. Rashid exuded his passion so much and knew his craft so well that he was able to tell his story in a crystal clear, concise, and cogent manner.

I’d love to learn more about the size of the problem. What percentage of Atlanta is covered with vacant lots? 10%, 1%, .1%?

And of course what would David Green say about all this extra green-space that’s being created 🙂 ?

I’ll be back soon with a wrap up of the second session – Creativity.

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