Where Do You Go for Transformation? – Navrina Singh at TEDxSanDiego 2016

A part of Navrina Singh lives in your daily life.

You see, Singh is an engineer – one whom played a part in a development team at Qualcomm that enabled sending data other than voice over wireless networks, which helps run the apps on your smart phone.

“It is truly humbling to know that my life’s work powers your life and your work,” Singh said during her talk at TEDxSanDiego.

It was this very technology – along with her nearly 2-year-old daughter and grandmother – that also transformed the way Singh lives her life today.

It was a moment in time where Singh drew upon what she knew as an engineer and applied those principals to help engineer a self transformation – to close the gap between who she was and who she inspired to be.

In the case of self transformation, how do you analyze and measure how your mind, body and soul are evolving based on the changes you are making every day?

“What helped me was to think of myself of myself like a smart phone,” Singh said. “That each and every day I had an opportunity to release a new version of myself into this world. Each and every day was an opportunity to do over.”

In the end, Singh recognized that self-transformation is a lifelong journey, a work in progress. By giving up the idea that one day she would wake up and be a new person, her life got a new meaning.

Navrina Singh on LinkedIn

Navrina Singh on Twitter

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The Superpower of Comic-Con – Natalie Kaczorowski at TEDxSanDiego 2016

If you’ve ever been in downtown San Diego in mid July, chances are you’ve walked alongside Spiderman, Vulcans, Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen.

If you haven’t, then chances are you don’t understand the full power of the spectacle known as Comic-Con. The annual event, which fills the halls of the San Diego Convention Center and spills into the streets and surrounding hotels, bars and restaurants of the Gaslamp Quarter, sells out each year in under an hour.

“Tickets to Comic-Con aren’t really bought so much as you win the privilege of paying for a ticket,” said Natalie Kaczorowski during TEDxSanDiego on Oct. 22 at Copley Symphony Hall.

The three-day event (with a bonus preview night) is so much more than just comic books, Hollywood celebrities, and nerds walking around in costume (which is more affectionately known as Cosplay).

“Comic-Con is really an invitation to celebrate self-expression,” said Kaczorowski, a regular attendee of the event and executive producer at “Tonight in San Diego,” a local late night variety talk show about all things San Diego.

While attending Comic-Con Kaczorowski would participate in Cosplay while interviewing attendees, but when the exhibit booths were taken down and the event left town, she found herself wearing nerdy t-shirts even off camera.

“That’s when who I was trying to be and who I was afraid of being finally came together. That’s when I realized ‘this is who I am supposed to be,’” Kaczorowski said.

The magic of Comic-Con for Kaczorowski is that it brings people together; connects them with their own tribe.

“No matter the fandom, fans may be strangers, but together they can define themselves as family,” she said. “Define yourself. That’s the superpower of Comic-Con.”

Natalie Kaczorowski on LinkedIn

Comic Connie on Facebook

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Making Peace with the Portrait – Kelly Mellos at TEDxSanDiego 2016

What is it about the human face that is so engaging and powerful?

You often hear that someone is the face of a movement, or the face of change. But what does that really mean? Does simply looking someone in the face, really taking a moment to study that person’s face – at the surface and beyond – have the power to bring about peace?

Artist Kelly Mellos, who left her life in the corporate business world to pursue a career in portraiture, toyed with this concept when she brought together a group of Palestinian and Israeli students and asked them to sit face-to-face and draw portraits of each other.

For Mellos, painting brings about a presence. When she runs her pencil or paintbrush over a face, she “softens into feelings of lucidity and deep reverence within the light of (her) subject.” Could the same feelings be stirred up in those who have been taught to be enemies?

“I thought there might be a possibility of transforming helplessness into hope,” she said. In a portrait workshop group through a peace program called Hands of Peace, Mellos got to test out her theory among teens who rarely get to meet and get to know one another.

The resulting workshop was an intriguing look into the power of humanity and the human face.

Kelly Mellos Website

Hands of Peace

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