LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Learning from the stage.

Photo by Kristi Boulton/Will van Engen | tedxmcmasteru.comThis weekend, I challenged myself by registering for three conferences, two of which I presented my undergraduate research at. The third was a presentation for a TEDx event hosted by McMaster University. Although I spent my weekend educating others, I believe that I also learned something of great value about the environment.

The most valuable thing that I learned this weekend, and the thing that excited me the most, occurred right in the middle of my TEDx talk. Within this talk, I discussed social barriers to why some people don't care about the environment. I won't give too much away here, but in one of my examples, I discuss a man who idles his vehicle for a long time. And when those words left my mouth while I was on stage, I heard something. It was a sigh of frustration from the crowd. It was a sign that the audience understands the situation and gets frustrated sometimes, just like me. At that moment, it was the most comforting noise I'd ever heard.

I think the idea of making a difference is resonating with the community, and I couldn't be happier to see that. People are understanding what kinds of things we can do in order to make changes. We are beginning to understand that there are every day routines that we do that could use a little tune-up for mother nature. We are able to see that reusing grocery bags and using alternative transportation are things that we can do. And we should.

These conferences showed me what it means to get in front of a crowd and express my ideas. Whether it be about my research, or an idea worth spreading, it has given me a better grasp on where our society stands, and how to proceed with my eco-concerns. And I couldn't be any more thankful for the opportunity to figure that out.


All TEDx McMaster U talks will be available soon. Come back soon to see my talk!