TEDx Herndon Recap

Tate Linden speaking at TEDx Herndon. Photo by Lindsay Benson Garrett, 2015.

On March 14th (Pi Day), people gathered in the Industrial Strength Theater in Herndon, VA to have their minds stuffed with new ideas and stretched by different perspectives. The theater had an intimate black box style, allowing for interaction with the invite-only audience. 

Sixteen speakers and performers covered a wide swath of topics ranging from green architecture futures to modern dance duets to the value of unhappiness. The talk about how to use unhappiness as an incredible tool was delivered by none other than our President & Chief Strategic Consultant, Tate Linden.

You may ask how one goes about preparing for a TEDx talk. In working alongside Tate every day I witnessed first hand how it goes down. 

First – lots of cursing. Then plenty of excitement. Then the realization that “damn, this is harder than it looks, let’s edit this speech for the millionth time.”

It was a challenge to whittle down the concept from one hefty theory and model that Stokefire has used to help global organizations achieve remarkable success into a 15 minute insightful presentation highlighting the most critical step in the recipe. (And let’s be clear, I wasn’t even doing the work – Tate was.) But the distillation was not even the hardest piece – that part showed up when Tate grabbed the bull by the horns and confronted his largest source of unhappiness in over 20 years. 

It was intense, it was surprising, and when he walked off the stage the audience gave a standing ovation with tear streaked faces. 

Way to make us proud, Tate. 

The video will be out in a few weeks. We can’t wait to share it with you!

About TEDx

TED is a nonprofit group that focuses on spreading worthwhile ideas throughout the world in a series of events and conferences. Known as TED Talks, these events typically feature the leading thinkers and doers of the world that speak on a matter of different subjects for 18 minutes at a time. Previous global speakers include Bill Gates, Al Gore, and Jane Goodall, among others. TEDx events are community planned and coordinated independently in the style of the global TED event.

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