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“Transcending the Everyday Life State” at SLU-Madrid’s Third Annual TEDx Event

At SLU-Madrid’s third annual TEDx event, "Transcending the Everyday Life State,” speakers and TED Talk videos evoked ideas of progress and hope with an emphasis on reflecting upon past experiences to learn and grow. The distinguished speakers at the event shared their experiences and insights, inspiring an optimistic vision of the future.

SLU-Madrid's Third Annual TEDx

Distinguished speakers reflected on their past experiences and evoked ideas of progress and hope at SLU-Madrid’s third annual TEDx event. Topics ranged from music and astronomy to artificial intelligence and planning a meaningful retirement.

Back row from left: José Caballero, Guillermo Fesser, Juanma Iturriaga

Front row from left: Adolfo Ramírez Morales, Juan Teodoro Vidal, Juan Carlos Fernández, Ana Portilla, Ph.D., Ana Granados, Ph.D., Chitro Majumdar

The event kicked off with a recording of Steve Jobs giving a commencement address in which he tells his personal story of persistence. He encourages the audience to seek out what they love, be it the selection of a romantic partner or a job. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Numerous speakers addressed the subject of age. Seasoned innovator and businessman Adolfo Ramírez Morales shared his personal experience on how to continue to grow and keep learning after retirement. Juan Carlos Fernández addressed the topic of the so-called midlife crisis, which for him, meant studying a new field and starting a new career in his 40s. According to Férnandez, it’s never too late to start something new. The jazz group Sambusa, who performed live at the event, also mentioned that age doesn't matter when you're getting together to jam—what counts is the shared interest in music.

Other speakers touched on a wide variety of topics relating to how innovation leads to finding meaning and living our best lives. Spanish astrophysicist José Caballero discussed how musical composition can portray astronomy and space while Guillermo Fesser cited the history of Hispanics in the United States as an example of perseverance in the face of adversity and discrimination. Basketball legend Juanma Iturriaga discussed the wisdom of Rafa Nadal: the key to success lies not in finding something you love to do, but in finding a way to love what you are meant to do. SLU-Madrid professors Ana Granados and Ana Portilla gave examples of how scientific knowledge can strengthen the work of humanitarian volunteers. Former attorney Nselaa Ward offered inspirational lessons she has learned about leadership and diversity. And with eyes toward the future, Chitro Majumdar touched on the ethical dilemmas stemming from artificial intelligence.

Despite a variety of topics, the talks shared one common attribute: an optimistic vision for the future and to facing it with innovation, determination and an open mind. A full recording of the event is available online.