TED Salon NYC: The Night of Inspiration and Learning

The Deepest Gratitude

Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the entire world? Every cell in your body is buzzing with deep ‘thank you’s’ to the entire universe.

This is how I felt when I woke up today. And this is how I felt last night. After almost an entire day of being nervous, scared, and feeling unprepared, I embraced it and let go. Last night ended up being one of the most amazing nights in my life. My visualizations, affirmations, and dreams came to life.

I was surrounded by the most amazing people: talented, open, supportive, genuinely interested and with a spark in the eyes so bright that the whole room was lit up. Being at TED Salon NYC as one of the finalist for TED Talent Search was a real treat. The best part besides meeting really cool people is that I got to talk about my passion, a very important subject to our well-being – Digestion and Regularity. You know how important it is to feeling good and happy. Poor digestion leads only to bad things. The talk will be up on TED’s website by the end of June and I will share it with you then.

For now, I would like to talk about other presenters who blew my mind with their passions, inventions, talent. You got to know them! They will make you laugh, cry, feel inspired, healthy, and most importantly alive!

Adrian Anantawan – Born without his right hand, Adrian is a violinist, and soon to be the new music director of the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston. He works to inspire and create opportunity for disabled people to find ways to express their talents through music. Adrian helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre. The cross-collaborative project brings researchers, musicians, doctors and educators together to develop adaptive musical instruments capable of being played by young person with disabilities within a chamber music setting.

Jack Andraka – An amazing teen scientist. Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka from Maryland, winner of the world’s largest high school science research competition, developed a test for pancreatic cancer that is not only 28 times cheaper and faster than current tests in place, but also 100 times more sensitive.

Jonathan Arons – A Grammy winning New York City trombonist, dancer, actor and writer who’s backed up such R&B artists Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey. But what Arons is most known for is being the “trombone dancer”, the guy who plays trombone a little and dances a lot on various television shows many of which have become popular video clips seen by millions

Hannah Brencher – She is a professional love letter writer and creator of The World Needs More Love Letters,  a social media-driven organization that writes and mails love letters to individuals in need all over the world.

Alexander Grey – A talented and passionate creator of a small, wireless sensor for measuring muscle electrical output. The sensors stick onto the body adhesively (like Band-Aids) and transmit data to our smartphone app. One of his products “MyoFit” uses proprietary algorithms to measure the energy output of other muscles. For instance, one on your quads while running can give you insight into how warmed up you are, how much work you are doing, fatigue, endurance, and recovery level. If you use two at the same time, it can show you your muscle symmetry. How cool is that? Read an interview with Alex here.

Natalia Paruz – Affectionately known as the ‘Saw Lady‘, has spent over a decade bringing the rare art form of playing music on a carpenter’s saw (known as the Musical Saw or Singing Saw) to audiences around the world. Natalia’s goal is not only to preserve the rare art form of playing music on a saw, but to also try and push it forward through the invention of better playing technique, fine-tuning the instrument, educating composers about the possibilities of composing for musical saw, and bringing the instrument to public awareness.

Kristin Pedemonti – Kristin combines theatre with storytelling to create multicultural, educational and entertaining programs that build bridges between cultures. Kristin decided to go on a journey and begin a new adventure. And so she sold her home and most of her possessions to embark on life as a full-time freelance Professional Storyteller and to fund her volunteer project in Belize, Central America. She founded Literacy Outreach Belize and now divides her time between the US, Belize and the world. Read what people are saying about her work.

Orly Wahba – For over the past ten years, Orly Wahba has worked extensively with tweens and teens as well as local charities in her community. Since 2004, she has been an educator for Middle School at the Yeshivah of Flatbush. Orly is most known for incorporating and integrating ideas of kindness, love and respect in the hearts and minds of her students both in and out of the classroom setting. She is often quoted as saying, “Kindness is not something you do – kindness is something you ARE!”

Watch this movie that Orly and her team produced for Life Vest Inside. It will bring tears of joy to your eyes!

Happy Friday!



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