If you are a TEDTalks follower, then you may also be familiar with TEDx events. TEDx is an independently organized TED event, in which people come together to share a TED-like experience. Back in October, Evansville, IN held their own TEDx event, and our fabulous former Mayesh Design Star, Jodi Duncan AIFD was chosen as one of the speakers! We caught up with Jodi to find out about her experience as a speaker, and how she turned her love of flowers into an inspiring TED Talk. You can watch her entire talk below as well!
While I don’t watch it all time, every TED Talk I’ve seen has been so great – interesting, inspiring, unique… Have you always been a fan?
Yes, I have always loved them from the first moment I learned of them. I have several favorites from the popular ones like Brene Brown & Elizabeth Gilbert to many, many more obscure talks. I have the TED app on my phone & I watch a few every month. Sometimes I binge watch. Some people binge watch Netflix….I binge watch TED talks.
What do you love most about them?
The essence of a TED talk is pure in nature. It can’t be a commercial. The premise of a TED talk is an “idea worth spreading”. Sometimes there are agendas attached to these talks, but for the most part it is about inspiring others to take a fresh look at something quite common. I am a very curious person so it satisfies my longing to learn new things, to be inspired, to be creative.
What made you decide to throw your name in the mix and apply to be a speaker?
To have a TED event so close to home was so exciting. I thought of volunteering to help and then I was like, heck no!….I want a spot on that stage! I have a heap of ideas worth spreading! I love to do design shows, commentate, and I did all those videos as the Mayesh Design Star. Applying and auditioning was a natural progression. It was a terrific experience.
Tell us about your talk, and what you hoped to convey to your audience?
I simply entitled it ‘flowerpowered’ to keep it short and sweet. I have a hobby of doing guerrilla floral art and the TED stage was the perfect place to share what I have learned. The experiences of how people have responded to it are fun & inspiring. I just told my story. I conveyed that there is nothing in the scope of human activity that cannot be made better by adding a flower. Flowers raise expectations & moods & environments. I had data to support my idea, and sharing it on the TED stage was a great honor.
And to wrap things up, how do you think this opportunity and experience has benefited you as a designer and business professional in the flower industry?
Any opportunity to speak about the benefits of floral design is always a good thing. Promoting the work that I love is its own reward. My motive for doing it was personal; I didn’t anticipate all the buzz and interviews and such. I want every experience that people have with flowers to be a good one. Like I said in my talk “Can flowers change the world? Like the whole world? That’s a pretty tall order. And it’s a pretty big world. I have limited influence, but I DO have influence. And hope. And flowers. And I’m not afraid to use them. You shouldn’t be either.”