TEDxBellevueCollege Focuses on Perception

TEDxBellevueCollege featured 10 speakers on a wide range of topics

How do you know what you think you know?

How does perception shape what you think you’re capable of, how you should interact with others, even how you could change the world? On April 4, 10 innovative speakers arrived on the Bellevue College campus for its first TEDx event at the Carlson Theatre, with talks inspired by the word “perception.”

Topics ranged from the importance of silence in healing communities, why it’s never too late to quit a successful career in corporate America to start a rock band, and how an understanding of neurodiversity can help develop the unique potential of each member in an organization.

One of the speakers, Paula Boggs, brought her life experience to the table as a former Starbucks executive and lawyer who found the courage to be her true self, trading the corporate world for her dream of starting a bluegrass band. She has now released a full album and an EP, and tours the country with her band.

“Bellevue College hosted an important and timely day of ideas, and I was honored to be part of it,” said Boggs. “Preparing for Tedx challenged me, and by sharing my story I hope others are inspired, as I was in listening to the stories of others, to view the world through a slightly different lens.”

Audience members were encouraged to explore their own perceptions with a series of interactive displays including a six-foot poetry board, Microsoft HoloLens, and cards with messages written in different languages about perceptions that would be revealed in English only with a black light.

Originally scheduled for Feb. 7, the event was postponed due to a record snowfall and the campus closure that day. Over 600 people applied for one of the coveted seats at TEDxBellevueCollege, which was limited to 100 for the live experience at its inaugural event.

“We were thrilled with the response, and to anyone who couldn’t come, know that we’ll have the videos up for viewing as soon as possible,” said Alonda Williams, TEDxBellevueCollege founder and organizing committee member.

The independently produced event, operated under a license from TED, was organized by community volunteers and is aimed at creating dialogue as well as giving people a forum to share their passions, ideas and experiences.

Speakers included:
Kyle Wilson: Navajo poet, educator at Arizona State University, expert in indigenous rhetoric
Micki O’Brien: Co-Founder, Aligned Education; teacher, speaker, author
Norm Alston: The Pied Piper of Math: Educator and mathematician helping kids find the fun in math
Fernando Perez: Poet and assistant professor of writing at Bellevue College (pictured above)
Jane Wong: Visiting assistant professor at Pacific Lutheran University
Tammi Doyle: Senior associate professor of drama and chair of theatre arts at Bellevue College
Paula Boggs: Musician, lawyer
James Osborne: Internet technology director at Bellevue College, author
Dr. Nancy Gonlin: Archaeologist, senior associate professor of anthropology at Bellevue College
Jenni Flinders: Former Microsoft VP who helps people learn the lost art of etiquette

– by Nicole Beattie

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Event Page: TEDxBellevue College (including speaker videos)

Last Updated June 2, 2017