Speakers & Topics
Below is a sample of TEDxKenyonCollege Speakers and Topics:
Everyday Leadership: Finding an Alternate Model
Royal Rhodes, Ph.D- Donald L. Rogan Professor of Religious Studies, Kenyon College
Royal W.F. Rhodes, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1979, teaches primarily the history of Christianity. His other interests include liberation theology, third world religious experience, monasticism (East and West), and religion and the arts. During his talk Royal will move beyond the usual frame of definitions regarding leadership. He proposes an alternate, more spiritual model, beyond a set of skills to principles of personhood: silence, presence, joy, and justice.
Set the Pace, Don't Become Irrelevant
Christopher Monfiletto- Head Football Coach, Kenyon College
As the new head coach for Kenyon College football, Coach Monfiletto faced a situation where his team had not won a football game in two and a half years. There were alums that were not happy with the state of the program, faculty members that did not know we existed, and members of the community that were embarrassed. By reaching out to alumni across the country, getting involved in various ways around campus and spending time in the community they slowly began to break down pre-conceived notions of the program and players. Coach Monfiletto will share the many lessons he and his team learned along the way that have nothing at all to do with football.
Elizabeth Cheever- Junior, Kenyon College
Elizabeth will speak about the value of breaking rules. To introduce this idea, she will share her own experience with rule breaking when her slam poetry team was featured on HBOs Brave New Voices 2010. Onstage in front of hundreds of people, they delivered a poem challenging the judges of the competition to give them a score of 7 out of 10, breaking unspoken rules by directly addressing score inflation imposed by Brave New Voices, and insisting that the judges break rules by scoring them lower than the 8 point minimum. The importance of breaking rules and precedents is apparent in countless other instances, but is especially relevant for today's college student because they are in a unique position to challenge the status quo.
One Goal: End Cancer
Thomas Lennox- CEO, Pelotonia
Tom will share his personal story as a cancer survivor, the development of the Pelotonia brand, and its relevance over the last five years.
Mark Rembert- Co-Director, Energize Clinton County
In 2008, Mark returned to his hometown of Wilmington, Ohio after its largest employer left and the community became "ground zero" for the national economic recession. Since then, he has helped lead efforts to revitalize his community while exploring why some communities thrive and others suffer. His exploration of the past and present of his community sheds light on the personal side of creating place.
What I Know About Being Cool
Frances Sutton- Senior, Kenyon College
Frances will debunk the common misconception that apathy, sarcasm, and elitism are the keys to being cool. In actuality, the keys to being cool are unapologetic enthusiasm and treating people with more respect and kindness than they expect.
A Mole's Eye View
Rachel Sager Lynch- Artist, Pittsburgh, PA
Rachel will speak about her particular approach to the Marcellus conversation. As a mosaic artist working in native Pennsylvania stone, she creates contemporary art in a geologic medium. By hunting and foraging for local stone, she's literally building the layers of earth below us out of the earth itself. Part of her presentation will explain how she came to make this singular type of art. Having been raised in a rural environment with a family history steeped in coal mining, she is a product of her environment. She will illustrate her intimate relationship with the stone she uses and the process involved in turning what most see as junk rock into tessarae, which are the building blocks of mosaic. She doesn't believe the Marcellus question is black and white and her art leaves room for the viewer to contemplate beauty while grappling with controversy.
History to Empower
Bhekimpi Mhlanga- Freshman, Kenyon College (Hong Kong)
Focusing on Africa and Africans Bheki will discuss the debilitating effect recent history has had on the present generation and how acquainting ourselves with our less recent history enables people to break free from the ideological constraints of the recent past. Bheki suggests that doing so will reverse the incidence of an inferiority complex in people of this generation which will lead to an empowerment.
Know Your Role
Ryan-Allen McKinney- Associate Director of SC Services and Employee Development, George Mason University
Leadership is about relationships and every relationship has a title. We no longer have to wait for that promotion or to be elected to a position of power before we give ourselves the responsibility of leadership. All relationships can be improved through our acknowledgment of our influence on it.
Can You Imagine? Leadership in a Self-Organizing System
Madeline Finnerty, Ph.D
Imagine a well orchestrated organization with no leader, no performance reviews, and no hiring policies. Imagine an efficient and effective organization that learns, grows, and transforms itself without strategic plans, annual goals, tangible incentives or change management. Traditional organizations rooted in the command and control architecture of the industrial era find it difficult to believe that such a creature could possibly exist. Madeline will provide an intimate look into just such a self-organizing system, the complex US/Canadian dog rescue network. Using stories from her personal experience and professional research, she will describe the power of a social network to inspire individuals' commitment and connect with people's passion.
Leadership with Two Hands
Amornrat Kantaphon- Freshman, Kenyon College (Thailand)
We often have an idea that people who have leadership qualities and abilities must be people who do something of great magnitude or wield a lot of power. In fact, anyone can be a leader. By starting with their own hands, a person can create thousands of incredible things in the world. In Thailand, there is a man who used his own two hands to do a very simple thing-something that he believed in and loved doing. He planted trees in his province to reclaim barren land, beautify the countryside and to try to combat the effects of deforestation-one seedling at a time. He started his mission over 20 years ago. He rose every morning to plant his seedlings with some estimates that he, alone, planted more than 2 million trees. But as the years went by and the results began to show, this simple act drew other people to his cause and they began to assist him with his mission. Today, he, Mr. Vichai Suriyuth, is considered a national hero. This is a man who started out with a "small" idea and whose implementation of a project that had far-reaching results for the "everyday" good of the province, ultimately proved him to be a leader in his community.
Authenticity: Finding the Inner (Real) You
Kathy Petras- Assistant Director of Student Life & Involvement, Baldwin Wallace University
How many times have we been told to just "be ourselves"? It is easy to say, but not so easy to do without a lot of effort. Discovering more about ourselves doesn't happen overnight, or by just looking in the mirror. Often times, when labeled as a "leader" we establish a picture of what that means and try and change ourselves to fit into that mold. More successful leaders however, take time to reflect on their own strengths, their inner being, and allow their authentic self to guide their choices. Kathy will talk about ways in which reflection and establishing a certain mindset can help leaders through every day situations and allow them to see their own strengths and their own opportunities for growth.
The Epidemic of Complacency: A Survival Guide
Grant Peelle, Creative Director, Original Programming, Stillmotion
In January of 2012 Grant had a moment of deep self-reflection and realized the life he was building for himself and his family was not in alignment with his deepest dreams and desires. When he looked hard at the lives of those around him he could see he wasn't alone. Grant had outsourced the tough decisions in life to society's expectation of him. He had become complacent and needed to do something about it. So, he decided to take a stand; he would pursue his childhood dream of being a filmmaker. He didn't have the experience or the resources, but he had the passion to make his dream a reality.