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2011 Home

The first-ever TEDxTheWoodlands launched on September 24th, 2011.

The event ended with an invitation to build a community of curious, open-minded, and collaborative learners.

In the movie “Field of Dreams”, the recurring voice was something to the effect of “if you build it, they will come”.

Our voice is similar – “If you envision it they will come, if they come we will build it”.

They came, became we,  and we will build an on-going TEDxTheWoodlands community.

Photos (main album) and photos (supplemental) from TEDxTheWoodlands

Segment on NPR’s Engines of Our Ingenuity

Article on Culture Map Houston.

Videos of all the speakers and performers.

In the near future, we will announce the first in a series of regular meet-ups for alumni and friends of TEDxTheWoodlands to continue learning, laughing and living with authenticity.

Let’s create the new TEDxTheWoodlands community as the heart, hearth and herald for the curious, creative, and compassionate.

Warm regards,

Fabian and Peter




excerpt from the original TEDxTheWoodlands 2011 description:

Kaleidoscope Mind – How Did We Select This Theme?

The term “Kaleidoscope Mind” was created by Ester Fernandez (Peter’s wife and Fabian’s mother) during a conversation in January, 2011 regarding our theme for TEDxTheWoodlands.  We wanted to celebrate and (hopefully) cultivate a type of mind that is agile, flexible,  self-aware and informed by a diversity of experiences. This mind is able to perceive any given situation from a multitude of perspectives at will – selecting from a rich repertoire of lens or frameworks and suspending judgement while doing so. To accomplish this, this mind needs to be playful.  For it is in the intrinsic joy of play that judgement, desire, fear are replaced by wonder, curiosity, imagination.

As soon as Ester suggested “Kaleidoscope Mind” we loved it! The metaphor is so apt.

The colorful shapes and materials that constitute the small “elements” in kaleidoscopes represent the perceptual symbols that the mind constructs from experience.

These perceptual symbols represent objects, concepts and the different ways they can relate to each other.  The Kaleidoscope Mind “sees with naive eyes” and thus is able to capture many more varied kinds of  “elements” from even the most quotidian experiences.  The act of rotating these elements in a kaleidoscope represents the agile Kaleidoscope Mind selecting different lens/frameworks from its rich repertoire to create a spectrum of different ways of perceiving its collection of “elements”.

The different kinds of lighting in which one views a kaleidoscope represents the different emotional states that the Kaleidoscope Mind experiences.  The Kaleidoscope Mind appreciates that the same elements and lens/frameworks might create different patterns when the mind is under different emotional states – just as the same oil color paint on the same canvas takes on different hues under different lighting conditions.

Thus, the playful Kaleidoscope Mind manipulates its own internal workings to see patterns, connections and relationships that more rigid minds miss. Compared to a conventional mind, the Kaleidoscope Mind has vastly more “elements” and a vastly larger repertoire of lens/frameworks through which to perceive the elements. The Kaleidoscope Mind plays with these elements as an intrinsically joyful pursuit.

The Kaleidoscope Mind sees with many different eyes, hears with many different ears, touches with many different fingers, tastes with many different tongues, smells with many different noses, and feels with many different hearts.  The Kaleidoscope Mind gains deeper understanding, derives richer meaning and produces more novel creations. The Kaleidoscope Mind engages hand, heart and imagination as it searches to understand the way others perceive the world.

Play is critical to the Kaleidoscope Mind. Rather than pursuing a preconceived goal, the Kaleidoscope Mind engages in playful exploration that flies across boundaries and indeed defines new boundaries as it goes.  This mind frolics in the type of analogical, “combinatory” and “bi-associative” play which the giants of creativity such as Einstein, Picasso, Fleming have credited for their insights.

We added the tag-line “pattern-seeking, playful, multifaceted” to “Kaleidoscope Mind” and launched TEDxTheWoodlands in January 2011. We have returned to it again and again to guide our decisions as curators of TEDxTheWoodlands 2011. We hope you will find TEDxTheWoodlands enjoyable and meaningful.

Peter and Fabian

curators of TEDxTheWoodlands 2011

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