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Soon, a 1.5-mile-long strip of land, mostly positioned beneath those viaducts, could be transformed into a greenway, if a new plan is realized. The greenway would provide Lowcountry residents with pedestrian and bike paths that stretch from Mount Pleasant Street to Woolfe Street, along the unused Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. The greenway, tentatively called the Charleston Rail Line Linear Park, would improve property in disuse, but it would do more than that, its advocates say. It would reconnect neighborhoods, beautify the city’s major gateway and help set the stage for improving Charleston’s economic future.
Michael Messner, a Lowline board member and equity fund manager, gave a TEDx Talk in Charleston in May in which he laid out a broad vision for a greener city that included the proposed greenway. He estimated that the Lowline project would cost about $10 million, and could be the first phase of a larger effort to improve the urban landscape.
In 2008 at the elite TED Conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor brought the house down with a very personal and unusual talk.
She described in explicit detail, as only a brain researcher could, what was happening as she faced the fascinating and terrifying experience of having a stroke. Since her talk was posted online, it has been viewed 12 million times in 45 languages, and word has it a Hollywood movie about her story is in development.
Billionaire Warren Buffett once told a class of MBA students that he would pay $100,000 for 10 percent of their future earnings. If they had communication skills, he’d fork over $150,000. If he had met research professor Brené Brown, he might have paid a lot more.
In 2010 Houston’s Brené Brown delivered a twenty-minute presentation that changed her life. Her TEDx presentation on “the power of vulnerability” has been viewed online more than 11 million times. One of those viewers was Oprah Winfrey.
It started as a class assignment and evolved into something more. College of Charleston students Ashley Bell and Kristin Angles were given a two-week challenge as part of their communication class.
Inspired by this TED Talk, they woke up early on the morning of Friday, Oct. 17 and used chalk on a temporary black wall at King and Mary streets to pose a question: “Before I die I want to …” They drew lines on the wall for people to fill in their answers with chalk they left at the wall.
There’s nothing so moving as a good, solid TEDtalk. Really… ever gotten sucked into the videos online? Or did you go last year, to TEDxCharleston?
Here’s the thing about these talks: each of them come from somewhere, and that’s what makes them different. Different from potboiler motivational quotes plastered along the halls of the office, the stack of trivial psycho-babble in the self-help section of the book store. The fire the speakers light under their audiences comes from their own backgrounds, their own lessons, their own experiences. And to be able to absorb this wisdom in your own community, apply it to your own community? Now then, that’s the wisest move of them all.