sustainable business

TEDx Marin: Is There Hope for the Future?

Thinkshift | October 4, 2012

TEDx Marin, held at the Osher Marin JCC last Friday, was light, humorous and hopeful—and perhaps that’s a good sign, since the theme was “Designing Tomorrow: The Emerging Future.”

Gary Lauder, a venture capitalist and managing partner at Lauder Partners LLC, started off the evening by speed-reading a PowerPoint sentence by sentence. Far from being a terrible speaker, Lauder had a point to make—time is precious and much of our world, from poorly planned road signs to DMV lines, is not designed as though our time matters. “If mortals made it, mortals can change it,” he said, encouragingly.

Following Lauder’s rushed speech was the calm and soothing Lynn Twist, co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance and author of The Soul of Money. We have to change our collective dreams, Lynn said, if we are to change our habits.

NASA astronaut Ed Lu, many people’s favorite speaker of the night, started off with, “All of us here are citizens of Earth…well, hopefully.” Dr. Lu spoke about his work on creating a technology for mapping asteroids and using gravity to tow away those that are headed too close to Earth. We can rest assured, he said, knowing that “the hairless monkeys from the third planet” can prevent asteroids from hitting us.

Rachel Minard, CEO of Minard Capital, spoke to something that we at Thinkshift completely identify with—the use of certain words in American business that are either obsolete or have evolved in meaning. (See Sandra’s rant on the word consumer.)

Agreement wasn’t part of the evening—no surprise, given the topic itself, but there was an overall feeling that as long as we care enough to redesign and redefine ourselves and our world, there’s hope for the future.


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