Perfect Reflections from TEDx Portland


One Saturday in April, I had the opportunity to attend TEDx Portland for the third time with my husband. I’m an avid listener of posts recorded on and the TEDTalks Radio Hour. The wisdom and storytelling quality is off the charts and leaves me thinking. I like to think of TED material as meat and potato brain food.

  • “I’m perfectly imperfect.” – Isaiah Holt, convicted felon, former gang member, licensed electrician. Isaiah shared his choice of being offered early parole from prison but chose to finish his sentence so he could finish the last 500 hours he needed to become a licensed electrician.
  • “Don’t ask me why, ask me how” – Holt
  • “Perfect is the enemy of good enough.” Lisa Sedlar: Lisa is the accomplished former CEO of New Seasons, current CEO of Green Zebra Grocery. Her talk centered on the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur.
  • “Certainty is the enemy of listening. Assumption, arrogance & fear get in the way” – Zalika Gardner, cofounder and Director of Learning for KairosPDX Early Learning Center
  • “Listening requires quieting your own experience to make room for someone else’s” – Gardner
  • “If you can’t imagine it, it’s very hard to believe in it” – Gardner
  • “We need to shift from goals to traits we want in society.” – Andrew Rifkin, Journalist with the New York Times talking about climate change
  • “Apologize for what you’ve done, but not for who you are” – Frank Moore: Frank is a 91-year-old WWII vet and accomplished river man focused on conservation and fishing. He shared his story of a pretty perfect life filled both tragedies and triumphs. In the end, his sage words of advice, “Don’t be afraid of receiving love,” came to life when his wife Jean of 70-plus years walked out on stage. Frank is featured in the documentary “Mending the Line.”  There was not a dry eye in the house when he spoke and Derek and I had the honor of having a photo with him and his wife before we parted ways. A special inspiration for our commitment to 60-years of marriage.
  • “Kids are digital naives, not digital natives. We must help them be thoughtful connoisseurs and good digital citizens” – James Keller, experience designer from Wieden+Kennedy’s digital strategy team.
  • “If your tech choices are making you feel bad about yourself, perhaps you should reconsider.” – Keller
  • “Work hard at the art of living. “ – Moore
  • “Inclusion is everywhere, always, everything” – Cody Goldberg and his wife created Harper’s Playground (2525 N. Dekum St. in Portland) after his first daughter was born with Emanuel Syndrome. His talk focused on play and inclusion. His dream of “perfect” is a community that values all its members equally. He shared his three truths with us:
  1. We are all connected.
  2. The things we build really matter.
  3. Play is perfect.

All TEDxPortland videos are available here. This weekend I’m attending the 2014 World Domination Summit and just realized that I didn’t post from this previous landmark conference. So I’ll hold the #WDS2014 until tomorrow (or the next day).


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