The Kentucky Center was alive and buzzing with excitement today during Thrivals 6.0, part of the weeklong Idea Festival. The concept behind Thrivals 6.0 is simple, bring diverse speakers from around the world to share their stories and inspire those around them. With students from multiple schools around Louisville along with professionals in town for the rest of Idea Festival, the audience was very diverse and eager to see what the speakers had to offer.
We were first treated to "My Quest to Green the Ghetto" given by Majora Carter. Her credits include Urban Revitalization Strategist, MacArthur Fellow, and Peabody Award Winning Broadcaster just to name a few. Majora was born and raised in the Bronx and felt the need to improve the community around her after having to move back home to get her Masters at NYU. After completing life changing projects to help clean up the Bronx she came up with a "secret sauce" on how to tackle problems: identify your market, design an attractive solution, receive angel investment, create a Beta version, learn from previous projects and refine, and lastly reiterate and expand. She closed by making the strong statement that she wants people to understand that they don't have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one. For more on Majora visit her website.
Next we were all treated to the most incredible 11-year-old I have ever seen speak with his "Quest to Persuade". Zev Dickstein isn't your typical sixth grade student. Aside fromt the fact that he takes piano lessons, violin lessons, and has personally met President Barak Obama he can ad the incredible title of Campaign Manager for Joyce Gerber for Cambridge School Committee to his resume. After hearing Zev speak it's easy to see why. His political journey started in fourth grade when he petitioned for healthier school lunches, now his free time is spent knocking on doors to promote the campaign and prepping his candidate for debates. His strong message on how to be successful, just show up. If he hadn't of shown up and put in the volunteer time he would just be another 11-year-old. Watch out for this kid, he's not only charismatic but completely adorable. To listen to Zev's interview on NPR click http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=196911702. The next speaker was Ron Finley with his "Quest to Create Urban Food Forests". Ron is considered a guerilla gardener, which is a person who gardens in places that aren't typically used for gardens. This can include a patch of land on street corners, a window sill, really anywhere that will keep soil and grow things. His message was mainly about empowering everyone to create a garden, no matter what your surroundings. He also believes that gardening is inside every person naturally. After Thrivals 6.0, Ron is going to plant a garden behind the Muhammad Ali Center which will include plum trees. To learn more about Ron Finley visit his website here.
The last speakers were a duo named Wilson Meikuaya and Jackson Ntirkana who are Maasai Warriors with their talk entitled "Are You A Warrior? The Quest to Transform our Culture". A Maasai Warrior is a member of the Maasai tribe in Kenya who has completed the necessary training to become a tribe warrior. The incredible thing about these two is that they had an interesting motivation for wanting to complete the warrior training; a high school education. Wilson and Jackson were told by their parents that if they completed the warrior training and killed a lion then they would be given permission to go to high school. Many people take for granted the education we in the United States have access to that others have to hold tribe fundraisers just to send two boys to high school so they could receive a higher education. Their message was simple, everyone really can make an impact by working with others. If you want change, you must create it yourself. To learn more about these Free The Children Foundation speakers visit their website at http://www.freethechildren.com/.
Overall Thrivals 6.0 was high energy, motivational, and eye opening. With this just being the first day of Idea Festival13, the attendees will surely feel renewed and inspired come this time Friday. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @KC_Presents all week for our live tweets during the seminars. Also check back here at the end of each day for more wrap-ups on Idea Festival13. Idea Festival runs now through Friday, September 27 at The Kentucky Center.