I found out I was selected to a TED talk in early November of 2019. The talk was done in partnership with the TED Institute and would be delivered on February 5, 2020. It was definitely one of the best days of 2019.
My original submission featured an outline of a proposed talk, and a brief video proposal. After an interview, I found out I was one of the 13 people selected for the event held at the Knight Theatre in Charlotte, NC.
I opened my proposal with the statement “Why are we throwing away one quarter of our workforce?” and talked about our enthusiastic embrace of youthful entrepreneurs while disregarding all non-digital natives in the workforce. What had really shaped my idea was an article on the characteristics of young entrepreneurs, not necessarily the dynamic risk takers of popular myth, but rather winners of a birth lottery.
And so I looked at where non-digital natives are, and what circumstances might replicate those same conditions of those lucky young entrepreneurs. Combining that with my earlier work on Lean Startup techniques in government agencies and creating change in corporate environments…and a TED talk was born. It took some twists and turns (and I’ll share those in later posts) but it was one of those moments when all the disparate parts of your experience come together and become something new…