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TedXPortland 2018
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
I went to the local TEDx event yesterday. All day event, split over four sessions. The morning sessions were particularly impressive. Video doesn't look like it's online, but some quick notes:


  • Kevin Cavenaugh talked about the contrast between having enough and Friedman economics. He talked about reducing the CEO to employee pay gap, starting at his company of 5 where he's flattened the pay so everyone is equal, as well as giving each employee 0.27% equity in buildings for each year they're at the firm. He also talked about a housing project that he crowd funded, with 5 of the 11 single-residency occupancy (SRO, dorm-room style) rooms being reserved for Street Roots vendors. It's a rad example of the solidarity economy, and something I wish I had known about so I could have invested in it.

  • Colleen Yeager gave an impassioned talk about her experience as the mother of a 7-year old transgendered son, talking about how amazing kids are, e.g. "I always though Nora was a boy" and worrying about how there were now more boys than girls in the class as Nora was now Eli.

  • Tyrone Poole spoke about being a non-traditional tech entrepreneur and how his personal experience with being houseless has led to https://oneapporegon.com/, which sounds like it's essentially a rental application clearinghouse. He talked about how even though he had qualified for a housing voucher, but he couldn't find a rental as he kept getting rejected due to things like a past eviction, debt, etc (he had ended up in the hospital/traction for 6 months due to an accident while training to be a firefighter). Definitely an inspiring story, and a reminder that tech is only part of the solution - the best ideas often come from non-tech folks.

  • Albert Chi and Johny Matheny talked about the Modular Prosthetic Limb, which is freaking incredible. As an engineer, it's rad to see so many disciplines coming together for this kind of work - prosthetic arms that folks can feel through, that individual fingers can be manipulated, etc. Gripe about military funding all you want, but even at $120 million dollars of DARPA funding, this kind of research is amazing. Looks like Chi has also done some other cool things like this 3d-printed prosthetic working with Enabling the Future



Excited to see the talks go online. Even though I was feeling super introverted yesterday, and sat alone, didn't interact with anyone, etc, it was a pretty amazing experience, and definitely one I'd like to do again.