TEDxSav – SWE Recap

This May SCESWE had the opportunity to sponsor and attend the 2024 TEDxSavannah. This annual event was hosted at the Fine Arts Auditorium on Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus. This gathering brought together a diverse array of speakers whose talks left a lasting impression. Check out the following summary to learn more about the many unique topics covered. See below for the full article by Michaela.

Picture:  Michaela and Caroline with the Georgia Southern University Mascot Freedom.

The 2024 TEDxSavannah was an inspiring experience made even more impactful by the sponsorship and presence of the Savannah Coastal Empire Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Members of the organization attended the event at the Fine Arts Auditorium on Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus. This gathering brought together a diverse array of speakers whose talks left a lasting impression.

The focus of the day was about celebrating the unique spirit of Savannah. Briana Paxton’s talk on “Converging Lines: Redlining and Zoning in Savannah, Georgia” resonated deeply as she explored how historical redlining and zoning policies have inhibited the city’s growth and prevented it from becoming a more inclusive and thriving community. Her discussion underscored the lasting impact of these systemic barriers on Savannah’s urban development, challenging us to confront historical injustices and advocate for equitable policies that promote growth and opportunity for all residents.

Suzanne Kirk followed with a deeply personal reflection on her journey to American citizenship and the responsibilities it entails. Her talk, “Citizenship: A Convergence of Cultures and Identities” illuminated how her experience navigating the citizenship process instilled a profound appreciation for the rights and duties of being part of a community. Her talk was a call to action as she shared how Savannah’s welcoming spirit and cultural diversity inspired her to embrace her role as an active citizen, contributing to the city’s vibrant culture.

Dr. Deidre Grims’ talk titled “Seeding Justice: Food Access and Farmer Viability in Our Communities” drew from her farm upbringing. Dr. Grims emphasized the importance of local produce and sustainable farming. She passionately advocated for equitable access to nutritious food and robust support for local farmers, urging attendees to reconsider their food choices for healthier communities. Dr. Grims’ presentation emphasized the transformative potential of sustainable food systems in fostering resilience and well-being.

Mike Kentz’s talk, “The Importance of AI Literacy for All,” stressed our responsibility to educate ourselves on AI technology so that we can effectively guide the next generation, who will grow up using this powerful tool. His discussion encouraged reflection on how to integrate and teach these technologies responsibly to advance our education system.

The final talk by Steve Hein, “How Animals and Humans Decide to Trust,” provided a thoughtful perspective on the trust-building processes. Drawing lessons from nature, he highlighted the value of allowing time for meaningful growth and learning. Accompanied by his pet dog Coop, a Harris hawk named Clyde, and the Georgia Southern mascot Freedom, Hein’s insights encouraged a holistic approach to education that respects natural processes of development.

These were just some of the amazing talks that mirror the outreach mentality of organizations like SWE, promoting education, inclusivity, and trust as foundational principles for fostering innovation and sustainable development in technology and education. TEDxSavannah was a testament to the city’s enduring charm and forward-thinking residents, leaving us inspired and eager to contribute to Savannah’s ongoing narrative of captivation, creativity, and evolution.