TEDxDonovanCorrectional is launched!

tedxdonovancorrectional-1024px It’s official! We’ve launched the organizational Core Team for TEDxDonovanCorrectional! Yes, we’re putting on a TEDx event behind prison bars in 2017. And today was our first meeting with the Core Team of inmates who will be visioning, designing, planning, implementing and running the first ever TEDxDonovanCorrectional.

What humbles me is that, other than the fact that these men were all wearing blue, you would have believed we were in a team of fellow college-graduated business leaders. They are curious beyond any expectation. They explored ideas for themes and articulated with depth and intellect the power and breath behind their brainstormed themes. They immediately invited others’ probing into their ideas, during which we peeled away the layers of their great ideas to uncover the brilliance.

These men exhibit a curiosity that is comparable to my Ivy League classmates and top business colleagues. They spoke about peace on earth, deep ocean exploration, the Amazon River dolphin, Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator speech and the Higgs boson. I mean, seriously, how many people on the outside can speak intelligently and accurately about the Higgs boson?

Plus, these men express a courtesy that is often forgotten in our boardrooms. The men listened with intent, expanded on each other’s ideas, created a healthy conversation that built on all thoughts. We came out of the meeting this afternoon reflecting that many of our companies’ staff meetings do not exhibit the same respect and appreciation.

Finally, interesting ironies surfaced. For example, they touched upon the radical racial segregation pervasive in prison, the challenges of crossing racial lines on the yard. They did not seem to notice the irony of expressing these thoughts as they fist-pumped and sat shoulder to shoulder in a circle representing most tones of the human rainbow.

Day One of TEDxDonovanCorrectional organization is a success! We left Donovan excited for the upcoming weeks as the men step into crafting their TEDx event.