Karst's Key Takeaways from TED2019: Bigger Than Us

In April, the long-legendary annual TED conference was held in Vancouver, Canada. This year, Karst was lucky enough to provide a gift to each of the conference attendees and staff. All the speakers, installations, and gifts served the purpose of the theme, Bigger Than Us. The speakers covered vast topics such as equal representation in media, whether fair and free elections are possible, mapping the observable universe--each bigger than us as individuals, but wholly achievable for us as a collective. Keep reading for key takeaways from the conference.

Karst | TED2019

Coincidentally, May brings with it the confluence of Karst's monthly theme for May, "Think Big" and TED's theme, "Bigger Than Us". We encourage each individual to expect from themselves and set goals far bigger than we think we can achieve. So in the spirit of both themes, we'll cover the talks that encourage us to "Think Bigger Than Us".

America Ferrera's talk on representation in media goes beyond just that industry. We need it in all sectors; with it comes diversity of ideas, and then, excellence. America challenges us to think bigger than the stereotypes society sets for us, and challenges each of us to think big about everyone's capabilities--not underestimate.

David R Liu discussed CRISPR, "the chemical scissors with which we can cut genetic code." But what if that technology allowed us to directly edit DNA sequences, not cut them, so that disease can be obviated? Well, that reality is closer than we think, thanks to the big thinking and hard work of a dedicated group of students. According to Liu, "base editing has begun to transform that science fiction-like aspiration into an exciting new reality."

Brittanny Packett, educator and activist, is an advocate for confidence. She's certain it is the key to success. Confidence is the key that brings us past our failures, rather lifts us past them. But confidence is lower in low-income students, because of constant reminders around them of barriers to entry. We at Karst have challenged ourselves to Unleash Confidence in February, thinking the key is to give ourselves permission to be confident. But we may have been missing one key idea, we need to also give permission to those over whom we have more power to feel that same confidence. "Permission, community and curiosity" are the three ingredients to helping students unleash confidence and therefore, have the freedom to Think Big. 

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