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[Live Blog] TEDxPSU 2015: Push to Start

The fifth annual TEDxPSU conference will bring together leading thinkers and innovators in the community for a one day speaker series starting at 10 a.m. today (here’s a great history lesson from its founder). We’ll be blogging throughout the day from Schwab Auditorium, so check back often for updates. Here’s the full list of speakers expected today.

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Live Blog

4:11 p.m. That’s all from TEDxPSU 2015. An emotional Curator Ebony Turner and her team are now on stage to close things out.

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4:05 p.m. Grierson is going over multiple studies that show people who “really believe that you’re strong, faster, sharper, and nimbler than your birth certificate says you should be,” then your body recalibrates. He studied an elderly track runner, Olga Koteko, who far outperformed her age.

4:02 p.m. Canadian journalist Bruce Grierson will finish off the list of TEDxPSU’s formal speakers. He’s talking about why people age, and asks the question: What if the human limits are only illusory?

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3:53 p.m. “Billions of people on this planet every day are growing food,” Hughes said. “These are the people we need to read…In the U.S. today, there are more people in prison than practicing farmers. But lots of you want to help. We want to fundamentally transform the way farmers obtain knowledge.”

3:45 p.m. David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology at Penn State, is speaking now. He says he got kicked out of school at age 15 in Dublin before finding his vision. “You guys have State Patty’s Day here and do it on the weekend — that was pretty much every day for me in college.”

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3:35 p.m. The next video is of child prodogy Adora Svitak from TED 2010.

3:33 p.m. “I realized my petty behavior was a result of what I thought other people thought of me. I also realized that my pettiness was a defense mechanism,” D’Lea said. “The best and most cathartic thing — even if it started from pettiness — was blogging and posting videos on Youtube.”

3:30 p.m. D’Lea begins with a hilarious story about coming out to his mother after his mother says “the Lord” brought it upon her to ask him about his orientation.

3:27 p.m. Xavier D’Lea (or X.D.) is a social commentator, whose work focuses on being a minority in large cities. He’s up next at TEDxPSU 2015.

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3:23 p.m. “The way addiction is treated in this country is that you have a permanent condition,” Carmona says. “And there hasn’t been a lot of progress on that notion since Alcoholics Anonymous was founded.”

3:19 p.m. “We don’t know what it would be like to go through our entire life without knowing how we are perceived through other people.” Carmona says these perceptions are largely crafted by labels that we hear over and over again throughout our lives.

3:16 p.m. Writer Chelsea Carmona is up next. She has written for The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Huffington Post.

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3:10 p.m. We’re taking a quick break from live speakers to watch a video of Jane Chen from TEDIndia 2009.

3:01 p.m. Artist Jane Richlovsky is on now. She says, in her paintings, she wrestles with the “myth” of the American Dream and the “myth” of the artist.

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2:59 p.m. Roe finishes (somewhat paraphrased): “You need a love for this place — this blue marble — for which we have been born and been set to dwell. It is home to 7 billion people. Don’t fantasize about escaping it for some other habitat. There is no planet to be. There is no ‘away’ where your garbage goes. There is no somewhere else where the coal is mined. There is only Earth — only our beautiful home. The home that you hold in your hand — the hand of a coming generation. Let’s love it.”

2:54 p.m. “As with the baby in the womb, so with humanity on earth.” Roe is discussing the finiteness of the world, and the different models of conservation to for that reality.

2:47 p.m. John Roe, a British mathematician and editor of the Journal of Noncommutative Geometry and the Journal of Topology, is up next. He’s running through some Google Earth simulations on the screen.

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2:45 p.m. “We need to create a culture that everybody in our building, everybody associated with our program, and everyone at this institution is singing the same tune and pulling the rope in the same direction,” Franklin said. “I can’t express to the people in this room and watching nationally how proud I am to be the head football coach at Penn State.”

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2:43 p.m. “There may be better looking head coaches in the Big Ten, there may be smarter coaches in the Big Ten, but no one is going to outwork me. No one is going to outwork us,” Franklin said, while going over the program’s core values.

2:38 p.m. “It’s all about relationships — in any organization, in any corporation, on any team, on any college campus. That is our philosophy,” Franklin said. “We believe you can be unbelievable demanding and challenging if you know how much they care. It starts there. It starts with that relationship. How we connect with them, how we interact with them — that’s how you have the opportunity to maximize any individual or group experience.”

2:33 p.m. Franklin is going over his long coaching resume and how he was able to “study people” along the way.

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2:26 p.m. We’re back for the afternoon session of TEDxPSU 2015. We’ll be hearing from eight more speakers, beginning with coach James Franklin.

12:15 p.m. That concludes the morning session. Former TEDxPSU speaker and Clown Nose Club president Chad Littlefield is on stage to help facilitate a conversation.

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12:04 p.m. Lindberg is talking about community and grass roots approaches to architecture, especially during emergencies. “Do not underestimate groundswell and grassroots approaches to do amazing things.”

11:59 a.m. Penn State architecture professor Darla Lindberg will round out the morning session.

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11:54 a.m. “Writing allows you to create your own world and create your own reality.” Hill is talking about what got her into journalism. “Think about every reason you have not to succeed. Think about every barrier in your way at this moment. I guarantee those will be the reasons you succeed.”

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11:48 a.m. Next up in the morning session is ESPN writer and broadcaster Jemele Hill. “Success creates expectations.”

11:41 a.m. TEDx is taking a quick break from live speeches to show a video of New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly from TEDWomen 2010.

11:39 a.m. “No one can silence you…no once can silence me except for myself. I chose all those years not to speak up because I was afraid….I still felt called to religious life and I still felt called to speak for lesbian and gay people.” Gramick eventually transferred to the Loretto Sisters. Since the transfer, the Loretto Sisters have received nine letters asking them to dismiss Gramick, to which they have continually declined (she notes that Pope Francis’ administration has yet to send any letters).

11:34 a.m. The Vatican decided after its investigation to prohibit Gramick from running her ministry. After the Vatican received thousands of letters decrying the decision, it pushed back even harder and enacted sanctions. “I felt personally abused emotionally.”

11:32 a.m. Gramick helped start New Ways Ministry, which educated the Catholic community to help overcome the homophobic attitudes that existed in the religion at the time. She says today, the church is much more accepting to these groups than in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1988, she was actually investigated by the Vatican for her work.

11:28 a.m. Jannine Gramick, a Roman Catholic religious sister who advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, is up next.

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11:26 a.m. Arnett closes by telling “emerging adults” to take advantage of this time. “It’s your life…adulthood will be here when you’re ready.”

11:22 a.m. “The transition into adulthood is happening in the late-20’s instead of the late-teens,” Arnett says, although it’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I’d like to challenge you…It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with our youth. It takes longer to prepare for a job in the knowledge economy than it once did. Secondly, the women’s movement has opened up a huge range of opportunity for young women — it allows both young women and young men to develop their skills for the workplace.”

11:17 a.m. Arnett says four things are responsible for the “emerging adulthood” period: the technology revolution, sexual revolution, women’s movement, and youth movement. He says that new family supporting jobs are available in the knowledge economy, which is forcing people to be educated for much longer.

11:15 a.m. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University, coined the term “emerging adulthood” which he considers the period of time between 18-29 years old. “I think it’s safe to say it takes longer to grow up today than it used to.”

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11:10 a.m. Agarwal says the key to solving the copper issue is to use silicon and light to improve computing technology. “Historically, human beings have found that advancements in one area will help improve multiple areas.”

11:04 a.m. Agarwal is talking about the importance of computers — specifically, small computers and nanoengineering. He says one of the biggest challenges is being able to keep computing affordable while also making new technology. “The speed of computers have not improved in the last few years. That’s because of copper wires, and computers overheat when they go faster and faster.”

11:01 a.m. Back to Schwab, UPenn professor Ritesh Agarwal is speaking. Agarwal built one of the world’s smallest lasers at Harvard.

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10:55 a.m. The first video of the day is Rob Reid from TED 2012 on “Copyright Math.” You can watch it here.

10:45 a.m. Scherf’s two biggest points: “Vaccines have absolutely nothing to do with autism” and “It’s not just a disorder of childhood…teenagers, adults, and seniors have autism.”

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10:42 a.m. Suzy Scherf, Penn State Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, is up next. She’s an expert on how children and adolescents perceive and interpret social signals. Today, she’s talking about autism and the myths that surround it.

10:40 a.m. “At what point do we start telling ourselves the truth? How many people in this room have to get infected before we start protecting not only ourselves, but each other,” Fried said. “The goal of all of us is to see the magnificence and beauty in every person…so that you will see it and know it in yourself. You are enough.”

10:36 a.m. Health educator Scott Fried is up next. He’s starting his speech by talking about his experience as an HIV positive man (some of which can be read here) — a disease which he contracted in 1987, the first time he had unprotected sex. Fried is talking about the reactions he receives on gay dating apps when he discloses his disease — mostly, he gets blocked for being “dirty,” but sometimes people are more accepting.

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10:29 a.m. “The biggest challenge I faced when I first strated was the naysayers — the experts,” Dolasia said. DOGO now has more than a million monthly visitors and a portfolio that includes books and movies.

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10:24 a.m. The first speaker up is Meera Dolasia, the CEO, Publisher & Editor of DOGO Media. She created a digital media company aimed at presenting news to children.

10:21 a.m. “We don’t learn in comfort zones; we have to go beyond.” EMC Rob Andrejewski of the Sustainability Institute is getting things started by introducing the conference.

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10:13 a.m. To get things started, we’re watching a five-year montage about the history of TEDxPSU. For more on that history, you can read it straight from the mouth of its founder Steve Garguilo.

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10:02 a.m. We’re just about to get started here with a full day of speakers at TEDxPSU 2015. We’re exciTED (sorry) for another great year.

Photo: @Marshallc6
Photo: @Marshallc6

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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