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Date: August 31, 2013

Author: TEDx PortofSpain

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From the Little Carib to Palm Springs … my TED journey

Dennise Demming at TEDActive 2013By the time the curtain fell on TEDActive 2013, I had laughed and cried, thought deeply and asked questions. What is the value of the older person to communities? Can you treat moral philosophy as concrete? Is there any value in the unexamined life? Why should I say “I’m sorry”?

What began as an obligation to my son soon became a passion. I found myself at odd hours in the morning foraging for a TED talk to view.  That quickly led to me being one of the organizers behind TEDxPortofSpain 2011 at the Little Carib Theatre and 2012 at the Central Bank Auditorium.

Almost in the twinkle of an eye my soul mate (husband) and I were swept along on this wave of TED activity and we headed for Palm Springs to spend a week at TEDActive 2013.  HERE … I FOUND MY TRIBE.

Everyone was engaged and happy.  Reminiscent of the visible bliss on the faces of Woodstock concert attendees in the 70’s.  My registration badge worked like magic. Random strangers just said “Hi” and the conversation began. That conversation could last a moment or an hour or the entire week, but TEDActive conversations just haunt your being.

There were so many high points.  From the hair-raising experience of classical music by the Kin Sha Sha Youth Orchestra whose normal practice hall is an alleyway to a series of talks described as “indelicate conversations”.  Some indelicate phrases include  “40% of people in world have no toilets, they practice “open defecation”“homosexual necrophilia” between 2 ducks … what does a “Cultural Neuroscientist” do for his day job?  and “If you had to do without your iphone or plumbing which would you choose”?

The talks were at times both inspirational and depressing.  Tears were shed when I reflected on the statement “even shattered dreams have a purpose”.  Couple this with Meg Jay who said that 85% of life’s defining moments occur before age 35 and the best time to work on your marriage is before it happens.

My TED moment was the virtual choir under the direction of Eric Whitacre. The live choir was joined by some 30 other voices via the internet … just epic.

TEDActive, you stretched my imagination.  See you in Whistler for TEDActive 2014 :)

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by Dennise Demming

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