TEDx Portland, a conference event based on the TED model, came to Portland’s Keller Auditorium in April with its latest incarnation, Wonderland. Our team headed over to hear some “ideas worth spreading.”
This year’s TEDx Portland featured Elias Cairo of local charcuterie Olympia Provisions, Nadya Okamoto, the young founder of Camions of Care, and Intisar Abioto, creator of the blog The Black Portlanders, among several other speakers. See the full list of Wonderland speakers here.
For our team, which included Chennai-based members Suga, Abilash, and Sathish (pictured above), TedX Portland was a blast.
“TEDx Portland was an AWESOME (yes, in caps) experience,” says one of our team leads, Abilash. “I have always seen it on YouTube but I would never be able to feel the energy shared with the thousands attending.” Abilash was impressed by Okamoto, whose organization distributes feminine hygiene products to women around the world, and by futurist Maurice Conti.
Conti says we’re now entering the “Augmentation Age,” Abilash shared. With generative artificial intelligence, companies like Boeing are able to create designs humans might never have developed alone. This technology, Conti says, could help solve big problems like climate change.
For Amanda, who works on our client services team, Conti’s talk especially struck home. “Every single speaker was amazing,” she says, “but the one theme that seemed to hold strongest for me was that we need to work with technology, not against it. We need to use our programs and our technological advances to help us succeed. If humans and technology can work together, we can accomplish amazing things.”
Conti’s explained “feedback loops,” whereby human actions create an immediate response that stimulates the brain and creates a desire for more. “This is something I never really thought of before,” Amanda says, “and it’s so relevant to what we do.”
“My personal thought everyone should attend TEDx Portland,” Abilash says. “This is a mind-blowing experience. I have never seen such energy or synergy in any of the conferences in India. It makes me want to be the change that I can be.”