TEDxAguaLinda

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AguaLinda is a farm community located at a beautiful seting in the mountains of Central Colombia. A CampHill is being formed here CampHill AguaLinda, a community which provides sustainable living and development for people that have disabilities. A wonderful place where abundance relationships are created through a balanced confluence with the environment. The preparation for the event, the venue, logistics, and gifts for the attendees where done with the collaboration of various young adults,  girls and boys which have different disabilities. An amazing enriching process for all of us involved with the event, sharing different sensibilities generates very special collaboration dynamics.
An old chicken coop was transformed into the theater for the event. Reusing available material from the art workshop at AguaLinda, the place was transformed into a beautiful cozy venue for a great event. Different art pieces done by the young at AguaLinda where formed and cut into the TEDxAguaLinda sign. The TEDx in-a-box equipment was set, and complemented by in kind sponsorship to record and film the talks by a movie producer company. Everything was ready for an amazing afternoon!!!
The TEDx in-a-box program has been a very powerful tool for creating  potent transformation dynamics. We had been struggling with the logistics for creating TEDx events at rural or peripheral locations, and a lot of resources and energy where spent solving problems without much added value for community and social processes. The TEDx in-a-box, and the support from the TED team, has facilitated the technical logistics, permitting  us to invest energy creating, dreaming, implementing and innovating at areas where the process of creating a TEDx event catalyzes social activations.
An so TEDxAguaLinda started. People where invited to arrive early and enjoy a picnic, delighted by the view and setting of the place. Volunteers and residents greeted the attendees, while the speakers where treated with a relaxation and awareness dancing session carried out by Santosh Ayurveda!
The first afternoon session started! Natalia Andrea Velasco and Jessica Rucinque, from Simone Gairdin, opened the event with an interactive talk in which them both represented a different brain hemisphere. They called for a change in the way art is integrated as a peripheral subject in most schools, and the enormous creative possibilities it opens if becomes central to the way we experience knowledge processes.

Then William Hernandez, co producer of La Educación Prohibida, made a strong critic of the actual learning model in which indoctrination guides the process. He shared his vision of a new model where community learning centers support homeschooling, giving back the responsibility to the family institution.

Carlos Andres Castro told then his story. Hi remembered how his mother was always crying, as a child, when they left the doctor. He soon discovered the reason, as his sight was progressively lost. He talked to us about the fear of being blind in a non inclusive world, and the fear everyone has to deal with difference. He shared his work  at the Ministry of Technologies of Information and Communications, where through technology several projects are being implemented to disolve this fear in all of us.

Leonardo Luis Lozano made a beautiful contribution to the event by sharing some piano interpretations a couple of times in between the talks. This talented pianist with autism spectrum beautifully refreshed our afternoon, through very sensitive, kind and authentic performances.

Eating and cooking as a political act was the main theme of Camilo Zárate. A chef involved with the Slow Food Movement, education, and conscious food chains, runs Suburbio restaurants in Bogotá. He advocates for questioning the precedence of the food you eat or buy, and choosing, as a vote, for sustainable food production.

Luis Alberto Camargo, director of OPEPA, was our last speaker of the first session. He talked about how this generation experiences a strong disconnection with the natural environment, causing many different behavioral patterns, including anxiety, stress and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among others. He says they are all symptoms of this disconnection with nature, which he calls Natural Deficit Disorder, and calls for including experiences within nature as an integral part of education.

It was time for a break at this beautiful farm located along the lake of Tominé. People where invited by Santosh Ayurveda, VII Panaderia Sanducheria, and Mock Cervezeria to have snacks, ayurvedic tea, and artisan beer.  The break is where most of the magic happens.  A space with challenging and inspirational ideas, entrepreneurs, mentors, local change actors, and people or organizations with resources,is a recipe for transformation, a seeds for change nursery. Simone Giairdin collaborated with a experiential workshop through which people could relate to others through their five senses. At the end, many connections amongst attendees where made, many new projects and ideas had been born.

The second session started, again with a brilliant introduction by our host Clara Sofía Arrieta. She was crucial for TEDxAguaLinda. As an actress with improvisation, and journalism experience, she could navigate through the sea of ideas offered by our speakers, and embark our audience into this paradigm challenging voyage.
Juan Pablo Calderon, confounder of BogoHack, inspired us to create in order to scape the consumer cycle.  Introducing hackerspaces as common labs where children and adults can create what they need instead of being victims of the market.
A beautiful life changing experience was shared by Cesar Florian, musician, who left the city with his family when his father died, to pursue wellbeing and sustainability implementing a permaculture living model. Nahual Permacultura is now a thriving community where different meaningfull and balanced relationships are established between people and the environment.
Ana María Gallo, from Special Olympics, through her personal story questioned the paradigm which states we are all equal, and emphasized on the enormous need of recognizing difference.

The last speaker for TEDxAguaLinda, Felipe Medina, gave an extraordinary talk proposing a powerful alternative for generating peace in Colombia through a different kind of education! Origen Circular, the model he proposes, merges sustainability practices, psychology, and ecology towards empowerment, leadership, and trust regeneration within young people who have been immersed in the Colombian armed conflict. He invited us all to participate in this collaborative open alternative being built by people from many disciplines who want to change our reality towards peace.

An amazing afternoon ended. So many ideas, connections and confabulations need a time to be digested. The ripples generated after such a beautiful exercise of social acupuncture, through time, will gain momentum. Many seeds for change where planted.