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TEDx Oshkosh Recap: Ideas Worth Spreading

posted on November 7, 2017
Crew & Community

Lead Marketing Strategist, Shelby Milock, attended TEDx Oshkosh at the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this past weekend. Shelby spent the entire day on Saturday listening to speakers share their ideas about a variety of different topics. Here is what Shelby had to say about the event.


It was such a pleasure getting to attend this event in Oshkosh. I am a huge fan of TED Talks, so the ability to see them live was certainly a bucket list opportunity for me. One common thread between all of the 14 different speakers is that they all had ties to Wisconsin in some way. Every speaker either grew up in Wisconsin, went to college in Wisconsin, or now lives and works in Wisconsin. The fact that every speaker could directly apply their ideas and thoughts to our state gave every speech significant meaning.

The day started [dark] and early with check in before 8 a.m. Our first speaker started at 8:30 a.m. The stage was set like every other TED Talk, and I was so excited for the day!

There were 14 different speakers and 6 TED Talk videos throughout the entire day. They spoke on so many different topics from evolution, art, health care, politics, farming, sex trafficking, technology, racism, and more. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but the one talk that sticks out to me the most, was called “The Internet of Everything” by Javad Ahmond. His talk was all about machine to machine communication, learning, and how these technological advances are changing the way we live in so many ways. Imagine your refrigerator creating a shopping list for you based on what food items you need. What if your toilet could diagnose certain types of disease or cancer? Basic household items will soon complete some of the basic tasks we do every day and simply provide us a progress report. Javad went on to discuss how not only is this type of technology changing how we live day to day, but also creating social issues that our society has never experienced before. In the future, we may live in a world where we are not needed. We no longer have to leave our homes or perform basic tasks. Javad foresees depression and isolation becoming a bigger problem as this technology advances.

Another Talk that sticks out was a video that was played for us. The video was called “A Virtual Choir 2,000 Voices Strong” by Eric Whitacre. This concept was so interesting to me because of the advancements occurring right now in virtual reality. Watch the video yourself, and imagine a larger scale where people can connect, collaborate, and create things in real time with people from all over the world. The concept is so much bigger than any of us. In fact, it’s almost too surreal to comprehend. 

Again, picking a favorite speaker or favorite talk from the day is a tough task, but the last one to share was by Matt McVeigh. Matt’s talk was called “What Can Musical Performance Teach Us About Servant Leadership?” Matt gave such a powerful example by bringing a jazz quartette right up on stage to demonstrate to the audience exactly what we can learn about leadership from this musical performance. The group played a few different short tunes and, in between their songs, Matt would point out how the members of this quartette interacted with one another. One thing everyone could see is that depending on the song, the leadership seemed to shift. At no time did one single person have all of the power. In order to perform their music, they had to work with one another and understand that no person is more or less significant than the other at any point. Even if your instrument is leading the sound, the supporting instruments are still just as important. The best piece of advice I learned all day was from Matt. He said regardless of if we are a leader in our career or still working up the latter, we must embrace mistakes. Without mistakes, we have no innovation or problem solving. We’ve stigmatized mistakes as negatives. If mistakes were never made, nothing in life would come unexpectedly. Without the unexpected, there is no growth or learning. Whether you’re a “leader” or a “follower” we are all guided by one common vision, but everyone views that vision from a different perspective and allows for diverse ideas to work together. We truly all could learn a lot about leadership by watching a jazz quartette.

By the end of the day, my brain was spinning a million miles per minute! I was so inspired to create, innovate, and collaborate. I cannot wait for TEDx Oshkosh 2018!


Part of Stellar Blue’s career path development for each employee is the opportunity to seek out and participate in educational seminars, conferences, and certifications.

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