Happy New Year!
A great deal of thought is put into every aspect of TEDxSalem, from the speakers to the location, the recess activities to the food served. One of the most exciting aspects of planning our event each year is picking a theme. But surprisingly, it is not always as easy as it sounds.
The concept of theme is something in the back of our minds all year round. We want an idea that is focused but open, unique but understandable. When getting down to business for selecting this year’s theme, we talked about it for days. Back and forth, a few ideas here and there. A thought randomly in a message. A note scribbled in the middle of the night.
As my co-curator Brian Hart will tell you, the themes for our first two events seemed to come to us pretty easy, but this year it was hard to find the right word for TEDxSalem 2015.
“We want something that pushes boundaries, something that doesn’t sound too common, but is instantly recognizable and gets you in the right mindset,” he said.
Sitting at the Gov Cup, where the magic happens, bouncing ideas off one another. The concept of courage was brought up, but courage just didn’t have the right ‘oompfh.’
Then we starting brainstorming. It went something like this…
Carlee: brave, bravery, courage, fearless, adventurous…
Brian: That’s it! FEARLESS!!
After the initial excitement subsided, we thought about it further to make sure it was indeed the right word – the right theme.
“It passed every test,” said Brian. “I immediately thought the question: ‘What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?’ I think about this question often and I try to live life as if I could not fail at anything I wanted to accomplish. Way back, when we were cavemen and women, our fight or flight instincts saved our lives, but now a lot of our fear is holding us back from our true potential. I thought about how fearless our speakers are for getting on stage and sharing their idea worth spreading, how our planning team and all of our volunteers are fearless, and how our attendees are fearless leaving their inhibitions at the door and looking forward to what the day will bring.”
It takes courage to be fearless, but being fearless holds something a little more than just courage. It is that extra step, that ability to face anything, to take on the most difficult subject or task with a certain energy.
And mark your calendar. We look forward to seeing you on October 3 at TEDxSalem 2015.