9 lessons from this year’s TEDxWilmington

Here are the “ideas worth spreading” that stuck with us from Wednesday's event.

2016's TEDxWilmington speakers on the World Cafe Live at the Queen stage.

(Courtesy photo)

There was rhyming, tears, singing, dogs and cheering at yesterday’s inspirational TEDxWilmington conference at World Cafe Live at The Queen. The speakers spanned generations, races and industries. Many were speaking on stage for the first time.
Here’s what stuck with us:
Joe Sielski, a bartender and blogger from Hockessin spoke on forgiveness. “Through the power that is this virtue called forgiveness, you can realign yourself with love,” he said. “Let it all go and reunite yourself with your inner peace.”
Braeden Mannering, the conference’s youngest speaker and founder of Brae’s Brown Bags, taught us that you’re never too young to be selfless and to think about feeding the homeless.

Management trainer Karissa Thacker taught us about gratitude and how it can be the key for achieving your most authentic self.

Allington Creque, the founder of Gumption Tours and a native of the British Virgin Islands, taught us about the possibilities of achieving your dreams, even if you don’t have that much money. Even if you are hit with nine “no’s,” he said, you can utilize that one “yes.” Hey, he met Sir Richard Branson with his checkbook at a party and it helped him fund his dreams, he said. “There are a lot of people that have money, no passion, no zest.”
Cornelius “Nippy” Betz III, owner of the Scholarship Leadership Institute, spoke about achieving financial freedom through a topic we all know too well, student loans, and how to graduate from college debt-free. Betz reiterated that the answers are out there. “I’m not some black Harry Potter,” he explained. “There isn’t a shortage of scholarships out there, get rid of the fog of war that surrounds paying for college education. Treat scholarship search like fishing, sometimes you’re gonna have good days, sometimes you’re gonna have bad days. The money is out there.” Consider Scholly.
Rachel Hutchisson, vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Blackbaud, taught us about the difference between managing and leading. She explained that “the era of corporate social responsibility” has passed and that “human social responsibility” is what’s next.
Robert “Dusty” Staub visited from North Carolina to speak about acts of courage. Staub shared a touching story about his troubled relationship with his father growing up and he overcame that hurdle by looking inward. He recalled, “I got courage to see the current reality, to see how I was contributing to the problem. The courage to love without defending to prove I was right. Courage to take action in the moment.” He mentioned how he wished he had done that earlier in his life but how grateful he was able to spend the last 10 years of his father’s life exactly the way he had wanted to, through a healthy relationship.
Kimberly Hoffman, an attorney at Morris James, LLP who also serves on the Delaware Business Roundtable board, asked the audience to make her job obsolete. “NIMBY [not in my back yard] culture eats jobs, tax revenue and housing,” she said. “I’ve come to think of NIMBYism as a culture that makes it acceptable to say no.”
Hoffman said NIMBY culture was something that was holding Delaware back and asked people to be more open-minded. Take the YIMBY [yes in my back yard], she said. “I support development proposals where the use complies with the zoning designation and public safety laws,” was her recommended pledge.
Nelson Emokpae, a speaker from Baltimore and two-time performer on NBC’s The Voice, explained his take on the conference: “A lot of these of these talks are a reset button for common sense.”

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