TEDxUbud inspiration in paradise


Arriving in Bali in the dark of night is like knowing you are getting a present with your eyes closed and being handed it but you can not open it until sunrise. Close up the plants and buildings can be seen and smelled in the night, a sense of the depth of beauty can be felt but with the sun beaming through the open windows eight hours later the full force of Bali brilliance becomes evident and is magical.

Bali has a rich Hindu tradition of offerings to Spirits, prayers and honoring all things which creates a happy and healthy people like no other. Morning and evening offerings of small folded palm leaf trays holding flowers and rice are placed in doorways and about the streets with smoldering incense and a few splashes of water. They are changed daily as the people connect to the abundance of life all around. It gives a moment of pause from daily life for the women that perform the offerings and for those watching the small ceremonies, a lovely tradition.

TEDx events have been spun off around the world as independently organized mini TEDs (Technology Entertainment Design conferences) and for the second time they have landed in Ubud, Bali. I attended the TEDxUbud2 at the amazing Five Elements Resort the second day of my three weeks in Bali. 400 people gathered for the event.mThe inspirational talks, music, dance, great coffee, food and networking dazzled with content ranging from fair trade to death with dignity, Java jazz to funky beatbox and presentations on island stewardship and protection for the endangered Balinese starling birds. During the breaks Biz cards werebexchanged and stories we're spun.

The earthAWARE story is always well received, at TEDxUbud this was especially true as sustainability and education were major themes. Immediate interest was shown by folks from the Bali International School (BIS), the Namaste Retreat Centre, the Green School and Blue Karma Resort. In the week following TEDxUbud all four locations were visited and the amazement at all things Bali increased by the hour while new friends shared meals, plans and laughter with me. Several projects became apparent during these visits: a beach cleanup with 250 kids from BIS, program development for visitors to experience the local environment in a culturally connected way for Blue Karma, outbound connecting of Namaste Center to USA corporate clients and a possible part time position as liaison for he developing Green Camp division of Green School connecting t he program to project sites around the world while weaving Earthaware content into all.

Biggest takeaway from Bali: amazement, wonder, happiness, connection...