JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
An inaugural TEDx event here in October met the spirit of the gathering’s theme – Together Toward Tomorrow – and showcased collaboration at its best, according to Dr. Elizabeth Rich, Chief, Faculty Development Flight, 37th Training Support Squadron.
“The inspiration for hosting a TEDx event came from wanting to provide the JBSA-Lackland community with an experience similar to the Air University Leadership Education Development eXperience, or LEDx,” said Rich, who was the TEDx licensee and organizer. “The Air Command and Staff College at Air University hosts a unique type of leadership event, executed similar to a TEDx format, bringing together a diverse and lengthy list of military and civilian speakers, food trucks, and live music.”
Rich said that when she applied for a TEDx license, she hoped to bring the same benefits to the JBSA-Lackland community because “I believe our community’s greatest assets is its people and the innovative ideas they have.”
After an official welcome by Col. Rockie K Wilson, 37th Training Wing commander, the day was full of guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of the presenters included Capt. Zachary Baumann, Air Force Gaming co-founder; retired Brig. Gen. Guy Walsh, executive director of the University of Texas at San Antonio National Security Collaboration Center; and retired Col. Jason Lamb, talent strategist for U.S. Space Force.
Rich credited the TEDx executive team with leading their planning committees to a successful event. The members were Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Scott, Master Sgt. Michael Galindo, Tech. Sgt. Jericamay LeCates, Staff Sgt. Ryan Jette, Kristin Baer, Javier Peraffan, Aaron Deutsch, Christa D’Andrea and Agnes Koterba.
Several of the guest speakers posted positive comments on LinkedIn.
“Hats off to you and the team! You did an incredible job! It was an honor to be there and hear such inspiring messages!” wrote Dr. Shanita Williams, associate vice president, Talent Engagement and Inclusion, Southern New Hampshire University.
“It was incredible! We had a blast and learned a ton!!” wrote Capt. Oliver Parsons, Air Force Gaming Founder/Leader, Air Force Services Center.
Rich said her goal was to bring together the community’s innovative thinkers and doers to showcase the culture of continual adaptation and innovation, spark discussions on a wide range of topics, and contribute to solutions for local and global challenges.
“I loved how the conversations between attendees and speakers, as well as each other, happened organically, giving everyone opportunities to trade ideas, share how they were impacted by what they heard, and learn from one another,” Rich added.
As a testament to the success of the first event, Rich has already applied to renew the license and bring TEDxJBSALackland back in 2022.
“In addition, we plan to host TEDxJBSALackland Salon events which will be small monthly events that keep the TEDxJBSALackland community engaged between our annual events allowing the conversation to continue,” she said, adding that the group hopes to launch their first Salon in January. “I can’t thank the entire TEDxJBSALackland executive team enough for all the hard work and hours they voluntarily put into bringing this inaugural event to the JBSA-Lackland community.”