It’s been said that “You don’t know what you don’t know.” What you can know, is that if your 2013 is starting to look mighty similar to your 2012 — and your 2011 — not much is going to change without an infusion of new energy and ideas.
What might your business, career or life look like if you opened up to new perspectives, spent time in the company of luminaries, let your mind wander to ask a new question (instead of the same old problems you may repeat in your head day after day)?
Enter TED, the inspiring talks about “Ideas Worth Spreading,” bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design.
If you can’t make it to Providence this weekend for TedxPublic Street, perhaps take a break this week to watch a few TED Videos. And if you can make the trek to Providence, join me on Sunday, January 20 where ten innovative thinkers will stimulate dialogue and share:
• Their innovative ideas that reshape their world
• A look at their pioneering work
• How they envision the world evolving
Said Dennis Rebelo, President of Alex and Ani University Professional Development Center, a speaker for the event, “This TEDx event hits New England at a time when organizational leaders need to rethink what it means to be human at work.” Rebelo will present on “Peak Storytelling” and the leader’s changing role as primary storyteller.
Additional speakers include:
• Economist Jodi N. Beggs–on a mission to make economics fun — who says, “I want to trick people into learning stuff and (mildly) entertain them in the process.” On her website you’ll find t-shirts that brag, “Economists do it with models” and a YouTube video of “An Economist’s Hannukah Song.” Is that a Playboy Magazine she’s reading?
• Tino Chow, TED Fellow, former military officer of the Singapore Army and “designer, strategist, entrepreneur and a trouble maker” by his own admission. When studying at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), his curiosity about manufacturing, “took me down the rabbit hole of questioning how products can change behaviors, which eventually led me to asking how companies and brands can positively influence culture.”
• Jeff Sparr, founder of PeaceLove Studios, whose mission is to “Find a Creative Voice for Mental Illness.” Since 1 in 4 Americans live with a diagnosable mental illness (yes, you read that right) and 2/3 suffer in silence — this is no modest mission.
• Gionvanni Feroce, Chief Executive Officer of Alex and Ani — recently named the 13th fastest growing retailer in North America by INC Magazine — who will share his “Reality Management” philosophy that propels the company forward.
For the complete list of featured speakers visit TedxPublic Street.
The setting for “Ideas Revisited” might be considered a “city revisited.” Just a couple of decades ago, Providence conjured up the image of grimy mills and factories with a dearth of dining options.
Providence’s flamboyant and notorious former mayor-turned-radio-host, Buddy Cianci, changed all that by making Providence a haven for artists and spearheading a movement that turned industrial space into artists’ studios and innovation-centered office spaces.
The three rivers of Providence — once covered over by parking lots and surface streets — were exposed by moving roads and adding green spaces augmented with public artwork. Providence now boasts one of the most scenic downtowns in the U.S.
Consider this post your official invitation to pair an intellectually stimulating Sunday with a Friday and Saturday to satisfy your gastronomic and artistic sensibilities. You’ll be visiting during Providence Restaurant Weeks, where you can get a three course dinner for $24.95 at 100 different restaurants in and around Providence. Providence was recently voted the #1 Food City in the U.S. by the readers of Travel + Leisure in their “America’s Favorite Cities” poll–find out why!
For dining, there’s nothing quite like Federal Hill, the historic Italian neighborhood with a plethora of fine restaurants. It would be hard to go wrong in this neighborhood and you’ll find a full listing of the area’s restaurants here. Or travel to nearby East Greenwich for a meal at Besos.
I especially enjoy the theater district, including Gracie’s, whose menu features many local, seasonal delights—from turnips to scallops. I never order an entrée but delight in a variety of smaller tapas (appetizers). Save room for dessert. Another outstanding restaurant in the area is 121 Local, in the renovated former Dreyfus Hotel, where you can visit a local art gallery on the ground floor before or after dining. The restaurant offers local, seasonal, artisanal and humanely raised foods; it is ecologically, culturally, and agriculturally sustainable.
And if you’re going to the theater district, why not take in a show on Friday or Saturday night? Or eat in the theater district, where you can make a meal of tapas (appetizers) prepared from seasonal, local and artisanal delights, and take in a show on Friday or Saturday night? Visit one of the country’s best repertory theaters–Trinity Rep–for a poetic, modern twist on Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment on Friday or Saturday.Or catch Providence Performing Arts Center’s Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical about the famous recording session that brought together Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.
For an evening walk and something a bit more exotic, check out China Blue’s Firefly Grove, a light, sound and interactive installation in a grove of trees at the Historic John Brown House.
Art lovers, be sure to leave to time to roam the RISD Museum of Art, home to extensive antiquity collections. And to avoid missing any of the multitude of “shopportunities,” I will just send you to the Go Providence website for a comprehensive list of shops.
The independently organized TEDx event will take place January 20th at the MET School, located at 325 Public Street in Providence. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. Tickets are available for $30 and may be purchased here. On-site registration will begin at 12:00 p.m. You can actively join the lively discussion at the 5:30 pm reception.
Who knows what will evoke some new big ideas for you–a Greek sculpture that reminds you of something a non-conventional economist mentioned at the reception, the unusual pairing of seasonal vegetables and spices at dinner, or a modernized Dostoyevsky character’s lines that trigger your next big idea.