September 15, 2009


Our city joined Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, and some 50 other places around the world in becoming a part of the TEDx community.

The moment seemed right to ask ourselves what the future of Atlanta required of us.

Eric Lewis — a rockjazz pianist — broke open our minds with his preface performance. Evolution is not wholesale change, his music said to us, but a beautiful, intentional, all-in commitment to what we can see or hear or imagine.

The issues addressed by the eight speakers were close to home, even when they took our minds far away. Michael Meyer tackled the issue of traffic, appropriate in a city at the top of commuter miles. Ciannat Howett pierced us with the question we’ll have to answer from our children: why did you use clean, fresh drinking water to flush the toilet? Greg Lindsay took us into modern aerotropolises and the planned cities of China, giving us an eagle’s perspective of the city planning of the future.

Gregory Jones challenged us to be the slug, which is, after all, nothing more than a collective response to need for change. And Keith Eigel reminded us that it is in the challenges — and only in the challenges — that we grow as leaders.