TED Fellows are a collective of global change-makers who tend to be a bit earlier in their journey than the main stage TED speakers. Those who make it through the extensive application process are supported through mentorship, their community of Fellows and the TED community at large as the continue their visionary works. Each year new Fellows and returning Senior Fellows present talks at the beginning of the week that set a tone for the TED sessions that follow over the remaining five days. This year’s group was an inspiring mix of artists, activists, educators and scientists—the latter of whom TED Fellows’ ebullient Director, Tom Rielly dryly celebrated, “You avoid them at parties; we put them on stage.” Honestly, though, these are the people we seek out at parties—but, I guess at CH we’re pretty nerdy too. Below are just a few of the brilliant bits of knowledge, inspiration and insight we gleaned from this year’s Fellows.
Too much of education reform is driven by a systemic approach, not an empathic approach.
Karim Abouelnaga, Founder of NYC-based peer-to-peer summer mentorship program, Practice Makes Perfect.
I look down to the ground asking the same questions other people ask looking up at the stars—are we alone?
Armando Azua-Bustos, Astrobiologist who studys Chile’s Atacama Desert as a model for Mars.
When we are denied identity we become invisible.
Kayla Briët, Musician and Filmmaker who explores and remixes the creative output of her mixed ancestral cultures.
In Ferguson I found anger, but I also found love. Then the police showed up and it turned to fear, but then saw courage.
Damon Davis, Photographer and Film-maker on making art as “weapons in a spiritual war.”
It’s a clamity.
Mei Lin Neo, Marine Biologist on saving the Giant Clam from extinction.
Beauty is the most resilient thing. It can grow anywhere; it transcends time and space; it is a liberation from suffering.
Prumsodun Ok, Choreographer and Dancer on saving classic Cambodian dance after its near annihilation by the Khmer Rouge.
You are here because of the golden opportunities made possible by mass extinction.
Lauren Sallan, Paleobioligist on how a mass extinction from climate and sea level fluctuations 359 million years ago paved the way for modern species.
Culture for the poor should not be a poor culture.
Stanford Thompson, Music Educator quoting his mentor Dr Jose Antonio Abreu and reflecting on his motivation to start Play On, Philly!—a music education and social development program.
Images courtesy of TED