[Live Blog] TEDxPSU 2017: Breach

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Welcome to day two of conference weekend at Penn State. Today, the seventh annual TEDxPSU conference will bring together leaders and innovators for a one-day series following State of State’s day-long forum yesterday. We’re live from Schwab Auditorium all day so check here for updates and coverage on each of the speakers.

Live Stream


Live Blog

3:47 p.m.: That’s all from TEDxPSU 2017. Thanks for following along!

3:34 p.m.: W.O.R.D.S founder Davon Clark closes out the conference with a spoken word poem about being a black student at Penn State, described in the light of his minor in planetary science.

3:31 p.m.: Davis outlined how the black community is beaten down fighting police brutality and asked for help from the audience.

“We’re up against the whole system.”

3:21 p.m.: Student Brian Davis is using basketball to describe police brutality against black people.

“The replays in basketball are the videos of the dunks, where in the lense of police brutality the replays are the videos of blacks being killed by the police,” Davis said. “Dunking has changed the game of basketball.”

3:09 p.m.: Near the beginning of her talk, Vescio said she came out late in life and noted that it made her realize new things about women and sexualization of them. Just because we don’t see the hatred of homosexual and even African American individuals, she explained, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

“Given how we describe masculinity in America, to be a good man means being nothing like a woman.”

2:59 p.m.: Terry Vescio, professor of psychology at Penn State, is talking about the sexualization of women. “Our privilege often masks our vision,” Vescio said.

2:56 p.m.: Peter Buckland is back on stage with a guitar to play some thrash metal.

2:50 p.m.: Buckland is highlighting the political statements that exist in thrash metal and pointed out that these bands fear for a world that may be taken over by global warming, and they are way ahead of the rest of us.

“Those things that might be really hard to listen to are things that we HAVE to listen to,” Buckland said of thrash metal music, which most of us admittedly wouldn’t willingly listen to.

2:41 p.m.: Academics Program Fellow from Penn State’s Sustainability Institute Peter Buckland is next on stage, here to discuss thrash metal.

2:32 p.m.: In order to overpower the societal white noise, Stumpf is encouraging hard conversations — both with people we just met and those we’ve known for years.

“What are we doing to engage in difficult and hard conversations?” Stumpf asked.

“You don’t know everything! We don’t know everything. And sometimes that’s the best way to go into these [difficult]conversations.”

2:28 p.m.: Stumpf is describing societal white noise — people need to make sure they’re hearing the conversations that are happening around them and not just the overwhelming sounds of our phones, the apps, social media, and blogs. Thanks to an amp malfunction, Stumpf had to start his speech over.

2:26 p.m.: Matt Stumpf is here to talk about the “hard stuff.” We’ll see if I can follow along.

2:12 p.m.: Descaves invited another participant on stage and swirled “intercessor mirrors” around him, though it doesn’t really seem to fit into his talk.

2:06 p.m.: Descaves strapped himself and a volunteer into a harness to show how marionette puppets are controlled. It was oddly, but surely unintentionally, sexual.

2:01 p.m.: We’re back with part two, beginning with master puppeteer Bruno Descaves, who traveled from Brazil to give his talk this afternoon.

12:14 p.m.: The final presentation before the lunch break is a performance: a sneak peak of “Beauty and the Beast” by the Penn State Thespians, which the group will perform in March. There will be about a 90 minute break, but we’ll be back this afternoon for the second session of TEDxPSU.

12:06 p.m.: Glanville is preaching the importance of looking in the mirror and loving what you see.

“When someone says to you, ‘I think you’re perfect,’ they’re saying, ‘You are everything I want to be.'”

12:01 p.m.: Bella Glanville, a professional international model from London, is the final speaker of the first session this morning. “If you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else? That’s why self-love is so important.”

11:58 a.m.: “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t have a mental illness or you can’t be mentally strong,” McGough said in closing. “You are strong. You are brave. You are a warrior.” McGough’s talk drew a standing ovation from the audience.

11:51 a.m.: McGough elaborated on her schizophrenia and the struggles she faces day-in and day-out.

“I’m just someone who cannot turn off my nightmares, even when I’m awake.”

“Don’t let anyone convince you to not get medical help,” she said. “It is your choice but also your right.”

11:46 a.m.: The next speaker of the first session is Cecilia McGough, an astronomy and astrophysics student at Penn State who lives in the co.space house and admitted to the audience that she lives with Schizophrenia.

11:40 a.m.: A video from TEDWoman draws quite a response from the audience.

11:28 a.m.: “Governments are the guardians of public health, the environment, and the common good,” Marks say in conclusion. Marshall is bringing Marks and Ruse back on stage for a little discussion following the conclusion of the former’s talk.

11:15 a.m.: Jonathan Marks, a lawyer who trained at Oxford and practiced in London, is the third speaker of the first session. His talk revolves around the differences between collaboration and conflict

“We cannot know whether conflict is bad unless we know who is fighting and why they are fighting,” Marks said.

11:06 a.m.: Ruse continues to break down how the differences in Senator Bernie Sanders and now-president Donald Trump sparked something in their followers.

“Donald Trump is not the best orator, but incredibly skilled in inciting motion and molding that motion in the crowd watching him.,” Ruse said.

10:56 a.m.: Glenn Ruse Jr., a 2012 Penn State grad and Roman historian, is on stage next, discussing similarities between ancient Roman government and the 2016 presidential election.

10:43 a.m.: Williams is telling the story of her family, including her father and the obituary he wrote for himself when he knew he was nearing the end of his life.

“Our obituaries tell our stories when we’re done living it. Have you ever come across an obituary written in first person and present tense?”

10:36 a.m.: “We have a problem…and it’s a zombie apocalypse kind of problem,” today’s second speaker Claudia Williams said in opening. “And we are the problem. Eighty percent of us don’t like our jobs, and 87 percent of us aren’t engaged at work.” Williams, a former attorney, created a company called Friendtorship to make companies a better place to work.

10:34 a.m.: “It’s very exciting to think that design and manufacturing are only limited by our imagination,” Simpson in closing.

10:25 a.m.: Simpson noted one of the problems in some of the programs in additive manufacturing is breaches in security and what can be done to avoid theft of intellectual property.

“It’s been really interesting to watch what’s been going on in the stock market with these companies,” Simpson said of the additive manufacturing industry.

“More than 35% of all engineering jobs require 3D printing skills now.”

10:14 a.m.: Marshall introduced today’s first speaker, Tim Simpson, who is a leading innovator in 3D printing and a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Penn State. Simpson’s talk focused on using innovations in 3D printing to improve mechanical systems.

10:05 a.m.: Emcee Spud Marshall entered stage right wearing a full scuba diving outfit to explain the breach theme, getting the audience to do a version of the wave.

10:04 a.m.: Curator Sam Viknyansky is on stage to describe this year’s theme: Breach. “To breach is to cross a line,” he said. “This year, I challenge you to breach.”

10:03 a.m.: The conference gets started with a short video explaining the goal of TEDx series, which are organized independently of the TED conference.

Photo By: Joe Whitman
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Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is one of Onward State's Managing Editors, which really just means she doesn't sleep much. A junior studying Civil Engineering, Lexi comes from "Spring City," PA (technically). Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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