TedxOneonta Speakers Talk of Transformation

TedxOneonta Speakers
Talk of Transformation

By Monica Calzolari
L to R: Micah Wonjoon Kessel, Boston; Lisa Powell Graham, Troy; Anne Therese Gennari, NYC; Lisa Meschutt, Oneonta. Not shown, Rosalia Rivera.

Approximately 150 people gathered at the Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center for the eighth annual TedXOneonta on September 24, to hear five speakers share their “ideas worth spreading.”

The theme of this year’s event was “Tranformations.”

Micah Wonjoon Kessel described the transformative power of empathy in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion trainings he and his company design. According to Google research, “psychological safety” and feeling included are the key to what makes teams great.

Lisa Powell Graham of Troy, New York, suggested meditation and yoga as two ways to “cultivate calm in chaos” and offered tips to overcome anxiety and depression. Graham reminded the audience to “give yourself permission to be imperfect” and shared her personal journey of healing from the trauma of being stalked.

Anne Therese Gennari described her transformation from “angry activist” to “climate optimist.” She explained how her angry approach to environmental activism only led to overwhelm and exhaustion. Instead, approaching change with “curiosity, courage, and excitement” fuels her work as an educator and consultant. Gennari reminded the audience that change requires courage.

Lisa Meschutt, a New York State STEM Master Teacher who teaches middle school in Oneonta, inspired the audience by recounting three experiences that led to her growth: a painful divorce, breast cancer, and avoiding euthanizing a rescue dog prone to biting her and others.This taught her that for the dog to change, she had to change.

Rosalia Rivera spoke about “consent being the greatest virtue of any civilized society.” She is a sexual literacy advocate and survivor turned thriver who teaches the importance of educating children and parents about these topics.


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