TEDx talks incite hope for change

By: Jonathon Hogue ~Opinions & Editorials Editor~

Xavier hosted a TEDx talk series focused on bringing hope to the future on April 15.

This TEDx event was the first on a college campus that was completely orchestrated and organized by college students. The organizers created the event to help millennials understand that they possess an arsenal of tools to combat adversity with hope.

The speakers included a former executive from General Electric (GE), a former Xavier Student Body President and a veteran who served in Iraq. The topics, while diverse in their delivery, all had a common theme of finding hope in your specific field and encouraging others to pursue lofty goals.

Former GE executive Robert McEwan spoke about challenging adversity in the business world. As a leader, McEwan understands the complexities that come with a corporation trying to meet lofty goals.

He explained that millennials need to follow five steps in order to be successful: remain firm, fair, friendly, value family and respect faith. With these tools, McEwan stated that millennials can make a positive impact in the world. Seth Walsh, a former Xavier student body president, gave a thought-provoking speech on economic growth in Cincinnati.

Walsh explained that Cincinnati is one of the most visited cities in the United States, but does not retain dollars effectively like larger locations. A fact that may surprise some is that Cincinnati receives more visitors than more well-known cities like San Francisco but does not generate enough revenue to remain as competitive economically.

In an effort to put hope into action, Walsh supports the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and large tourism campaigns to make Cincinnati a world class destination. The most impassioned speech came from Iraq War veteran Nathan Pelletier.

He argued that in order to create hope, individuals have to believe in something bigger than themselves. Opportunity requires action, but the unknown often prevents individuals from embracing sacrifices necessary for change.

Pelletier stressed to the audience that working towards something you believe in is difficult, but hope is what helps you overcome struggles that move people towards achieving goals.

Audience members commented that the event was a success and left them with a greater understanding of how hope is not a lofty goal, but something that can be achieved in their lifetime. If interested, be sure to check out more TEDx talks online at http://www.ted.com.