Designing cities for sustainability, resilience and happiness – Paulina Lis at TEDx San Diego 2017

Paulina begins her talk with a quote from Jane Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “cities provide for everyone when they are created by everyone.”

The book is a critique of 1950’s urban planning policy, which holds responsible for the decline of many city neighborhoods in the United States. Going against the modernist planning dogma of the era, it proposes a newfound appreciation for organic urban vibrancy.

Paulina emphasized that our city of San Diego is growing, and that it is our vision which is driving the future, so we need to address our common goals when designing urban spaces so that all communities can thrive. For example, alleys are a common area that are underused because they are often associated with danger, crime, and filth.

But there is a movement going on that is committed to restoring these spaces by adding plants, lights and other amenities to create an environment that is inviting and attractive. Los Angeles is one city that is looking to reinvent alley spaces so they are conducive to the populations they serve, and create positive impact.

She ends by saying that if we work together, then everyone can enjoy our beautiful city.

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Rethinking America’s talent crisis – Mary Walshok at TEDxSanDiego 2017

During this noteworthy talk, Mary Walshok makes the important distinction that in the world today, we undervalue skilled labor and overvalue academia. She begins by sharing that when she was child, classes like wood shop were mandatory, so that students could learn actual skills that would apply to actual jobs.

She argues that we need to close this gap, so that we can fill more jobs, and disperse skill set across the board. Mary’s solution is what she refers to as HEART: Hands, Engaging, Applied, Relevant, Training, which is the combination of experience and education, and practice so that people are more prepared to meet all the challenges of their jobs.

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True mentorship requires bold transparency – Brandon Steppe at TEDxSanDiego 2017

Brandon Steppe’s heartfelt talk centers on the concept that the truth will indeed set you free. He shares about a time in his life when pain and fear had the potential to devour him, but his wife inspired him to channel those feelings and open up a music studio in his garage where he can work with young and struggling artists, with whom he has things in common.

He recalls the relationship with a 15-year old boy that he mentored, and how the vulnerability between the two of them changed his perception, and ultimately, his reality. Brandon discovered that the key to forming a bond of trust and openness was to be open and share his truth, and by doing so, discovered that therein lies the healing.

David’s Harp Foundation

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