This is the first in our series of interviews with the women of the 2012 TEDxSandHillRdWomen event. We start with Wendy Wallbridge, Event Producer.
You are on the Executive Advisory Board for TEDxMarin, as well producing TEDxSandHillRdWomen. What was the first TED talk that moved you to want to be involved?
A few years ago I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s fabled talk on how schools kill creativity. He made me laugh and feel and I saw the power of storytelling and “ideas worth spreading.” Since then my favorites have included Brene Brown on vulnerability, Simon Sinek on the power of why, Nigel Marsh on work life balance, and Nipun Mehta on what the world would look like if we designed for generosity. So many times, a single idea has changed my life, so I’m a big believer in the power of ideas to change the world.
What made you decide to produce a TEDxWomen event here in Silicon Valley?
I’ve been coaching women from Silicon Valley for over two decades and now more than ever, women are hungry for meaningful conversations and connection with other professional women facing similar opportunities and challenges. Many of the women I speak to also feel pregnant with possibility—they feel a calling to want to use their talents, smarts and gifts to make a difference in the world—to move beyond the “me” focus and engage with some of the critical issues that we face on a societal level. I’m hosting this TEDx event to support that impulse and to help women feel supported enough to swing out and take the kind of risks that kind of engagement requires.
What would you like to say to this year’s attendees, especially those who have never been to a TEDx event?
This will be unlike any TEDx event not only because our speakers will address the theme of “Women Rising” from a multitude of angles, but because our format will reflect the feminine principle of relatedness.There will be awe-inspiring talks interspersed with opportunities for women to express what’s on their hearts and minds and to mingle and meet new friends and allies.
There is less than a month to go before the event and it quickly sold out. With such a tremendous response to this year’s program, what is your vision for this new TEDxSandHillRd community going forward?
The overwhelming response…from the many bright women who volunteered to give a TED talk, to the talented, accomplished women on the CoCreation team, to the hundreds of people who either bought tickets or added their names to the waiting list, all of it speaks to the huge appetite professional women have to learn together, socialize, and support one another to continue to rise! This will be just the first in, I hope, many Silicon Valley events where we will be inspired by each other’s ingenuity, creativity and chutzpah as well as have fun building collegial relationships that provide the kind of connection and solidarity that women need to thrive.
Wendy Wallbridge, principal of On Your Mark Corporate Coaching & Consulting, Inc. is a pioneer in the coaching field. Recognized for her groundbreaking coaching techniques she has been interviewed by members of the print media including Fortune, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. Her forthcoming book, Spiral Up! A New Map for Leading Your Life with Power and Grace is based on the principles she has developed and presented for the past decade to groups of women entrepreneurs, middle managers, individual contributors, and executives. Contact Wendy on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.