Magical, Mystical, Mysterious Clemencies – Justin Brooks at TEDxSanDiego 2016

We see it each year at Thanksgiving time. A small crowd on The White House lawn, family members of the President gathered around while the star of the show, a turkey, is granted a pardon from becoming the day’s meal from the President himself.

With presidential clemency powers, it is within the president’s rights to save a bird (or two) each year, but more importantly, this power grants the President the right to pardon wrongfully imprisoned people.

This power has been exercised numerous times throughout history for not only full release from federal prison, but also to reduce sentences.

Along with the President, governors are provided the same power at the state level. This is significant because, as Justin Brooks, director and co-founder of the California Innocence Project, said, the United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world – most of which are incarcerated in state prisons. Additionally, California is the state with the most people in prison.

“To get a case opened in California is an incredible task,” Brooks said during his talk at TEDxSanDiego. “To un-ring that bell to get a court to say ‘we’re going to take a second look at this case’ … it’s a really difficult process.

To catch the attention of California Governor Jerry Brown, and in turn his clemency powers, Brooks and his team identified 12 compelling cases from all cross sections of the state’s communities to take to Brown as a petition for clemency.

But just sending a petition wasn’t enough to get his petition. So Brooks, and two lawyers from his office, set out to walk the petitions all 712 miles from San Diego to the state capitol in Sacramento and hand deliver them to the governor’s office.

As the title of his TEDxSanDiego presentation alludes to, clemencies can be magical, mystical and mysterious, especially when you’re wondering what became of the 12 case petitions that were walked straight to the governor’s office.

Justin Brooks Profile

Justin Brooks on Twitter

California Innocence Project

Simple LIne Break

Postcards from the Future – Scott Klemmer at TEDxSanDiego 2016

Chances are someone in your life has imparted on you the mantra “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

In the world of design, this idea becomes a key aspect of prototypes. In fact, the very definition of prototype is “a first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied.”

So why are prototypes so important to the world of design? According to Scott Klemmer, when you log onto a computer, chances are you’re part of an experiment. Here, designers are trying out different alternatives (or prototypes) to see what works best.

“I call this idea design at large,” said Klemmer, the co-founder and co-director of the Design Lab at UC San Diego. “It’s real world, at scale, and we’re being able to compare alternatives and learn from what we’re finding.”

During his talk at TEDxSanDiego, Klemmer went on to give various examples of prototypes that at first did not succeed, not because the people were necessarily smarter than others around them (although yes, they were really smart), but because they tried lots of things.

So what makes prototypes particularly magical?

“Prototypes instantiate a future that doesn’t exist yet,” said Klemmer. “And what designers do is we time travel just a little bit into the future with our prototypes and once we know what the world is like there we can send back these post cards that give information about what to really make.”

Scott Klemmer Profile

Scott Klemmer on Twitter

Simple LIne Break

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

Simple LIne Break