November 11, 2014

Our 2015 Event Theme: Roads Less Traveled
Category: 2015 Event, Event Themes

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There’s something about certain people in our community. Not just the TED community, but our greater community here in Portland. They possess a characteristic that’s hard to ignore. We all know someone like this. Heck, some of us are someone like this.

They are innovating.

They are finding another way.

They are creating something from scratch.

They are turning a “crazy” idea into a successful business.

They are working for social justice causes.

They are taking action to make it a better day for someone else.

They drown out the naysayers and look at “What If” with a twinkle in their eyes, then forge ahead bucking conformity, abandoning the known, the stable, and the safe.

They take the roads less traveled.

Those roads often prove to be more difficult, or unpopular, or both. Or neither!

In fact, these roads may not even exist yet, except in someone’s imagination.

Some of these roads may eventually become popular and frequently-traveled. The new way to get somewhere. Still, someone’s gotta start wearing that path.

These folks, despite whatever trepidation might be brewing, look down those roads and say, “Yes! Adventure! Let’s do this!” And off they go, to make things happen.

It’s true, a road less traveled can be fraught with uncertainty, adversity, challenges and little support. It’s not always an easy decision when you come to that fork and have to choose which way you’ll go.

Yet, that “unclaimed land” more often than not holds promises of excitement, independence, opportunity, growth, and a new perspective. And there’s no velvet rope blocking the entry onto the road less traveled. It’s accessible to anyone.

Taking the road less traveled requires courage to face our fears and insecurities. It sometimes requires a desire to fix something, even if that something ain’t really broke, just to see if we can make it better. It may be lonely at first, or the entire way. Or we may pick up some new friends as we move along. Who knows?

To take this road means being at peace with getting lost and finding our way along the way. It means being open to arriving at a destination other than the one we envisioned — and sometimes arriving as another person than who we were — when we started our journey.

In 2015 TEDxMtHood will highlight individuals who have chosen roads less traveled, literally or figuratively, and have lived to tell their tale. It is our hope that their experiences will encourage others in our community to take a detour off the well-worn paths in their lives and see where it leads.

Won’t you join us on this journey?

Ivonne Ward

Though Ivonne now lives in Seattle, she remains tight with the TEDxMtHood family, and this is her second year with the planning team. Passionate about people, volunteering and problem-solving, Ivonne is guided by curiosity and a desire to make a positive and meaningful impact in her community.