TEDxMidAtlantic Day 1 Session 3

Session 3: Engage

Noted entrepreneurs, event sponsors, and technology pioneers Steve and Jean Case introduced the presenters in this session.

Foreshadowing one of the Day 2 speakers, the video Happy Little Clouds, a remix of PBS oil painting instructor Bob Ross was presented.

Alec Ross (@AlecJRoss) is a special advisor to Hilary Clinton who spoke about how digital communication and social networks are changing the actors and pace of modern diplomacy.

David Rubenstein (@OneCarlyle) founded the Carlyle Group, the largest private money management firm in the world. After introducing his life’s story and his decision to purchase historic documents and donate them to government agencies he made a strong case that philanthropy should be practiced in the same way that the word itself is derived, as “the caring of man,” not just in the sense of wealthy benefactors donating to worthy causes. Everyone has benefitted from government in some way, and in an environment of declining public resources, everyone has an obligation to give back to the government-established institutions that they treasure.

Freeman Hrabowski was jailed for five days in 1962 at the age of twelve for marching in Birmingham with Dr. Martin Luther King. Against that backdrop, he excelled academically and is now president of University of Maryland Baltimore County. While most students with enthusiasm for science, mathematics, and engineering eventually select other areas of study due to lack of encouragement and support from their parents, teachers, and the educational system, he and his programs have been remarkably successful motivating students to pursue and achieve advanced degrees in these areas.

Colin Powell (@powellcenter) used his life’s story as a case study for the positive influence of structure in children’s lives. Raised in Brooklyn by Jamaican immigrants, Powell was not a stellar student but found motivation from the strong sense of honor imparted by his parents and community; and opportunity in his college’s ROTC program. He continues to draw inspiration from America’s immigrant community, who remind him of the promise and potential offered by the United States.

Marci Harris (@marcidale) established PopVox as a way to organize communications between elected representatives and their constituents. The web application provides voters with a way to better understand and influence the issues of the day; and provides officials with a clear and quantifiable way to gauge voter interest in specific issues and legislation.

Sage Salvo (@SageSalvo) is a poet, musician, PhD candidate in economics, and professor who advocates hip hop as a legitimate literary form, and whose Words Liive program engages young people to experience and create musical and poetic works. The program closed with a Words Liive performance.

Next: Day Two

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