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June 18, 2018

Announcing Our 2018 Event Theme: Decomposers
Category: 2018 Event, Event Themes, News

In the chaos of today’s world, it can seem like we’re living through an age of constant destruction.  Whether it’s depletion of natural resources, corruption in our governments, violations in human rights – the problems are real and the consequences are heavy.

It can feel like our systems are breaking and crumbling around us.  It can feel like there is more death and destruction than hope. More pain and sorrow than understanding and regeneration.

Our hearts heavy with grief and our eyes full of tears, it can be hard to find the hope.  Everywhere we look, we’re met with more ruin. It becomes clear that to move forward, we must not ignore this destruction – we must face it head on.

Seeking for guidance, we turn to nature as our mentor and teacher.  How does the natural world deal with death and destruction?

Nature finds hope in its decomposers.  Decomposers break down the dead and the dying.  They metabolize what has been destroyed. They turn ruin into hope.  

Decomposers restore balance.  They complete the broken loops.  They bring back new life.

They might not look pretty, but they do their job.  They work around the roots and in the dirt. They work underground – and largely, their work is unseen.

In nature they take the form of microbes, worms, fungi.  But who are the decomposers of our human world? Who are the decomposers in our communities?

Our decomposers are everywhere – therapists, teachers, coaches who help us breakdown old ways of knowing and being to make space for new; friends and loved ones who spit cold, hard truth; artists, writers, poets who break down ideas; even scientists, who break down assumptions.  In times like these, we look to our decomposers to transform grief, pain, and chaos into wisdom, hope, and ultimately, life.

This year’s TEDxMtHood event will bring Portland’s decomposers to the stage.  Their actions are deep. Their ideas are regenerative. They break down the struggle and offer new hope for a better, healthier world.

Join us on October 13th where we celebrate our teachers, our artists, our friends, our neighbors, our leaders, our activists, our scientists, our system revitalizers, our life-bringers, our hope-restorers – our decomposers.

Austin Louis

Austin Louis is a first-year TEDxMtHood team member and speaker concierge. He is a student at Wayfinding Academy who is pursuing an answer to the question, "What makes me come alive?" Austin has a passion for shared experiences and is learning how to design events and spaces that combine fun and play with understanding and acceptance. He also has a passion for being scrappy and is fascinated by the many ways we can do more with less.