4.5 Questions with TEDxNormal Speaker Kali Lewis

TEDxNormal is picking up steam, make sure to read all of the 4.5 Question speaker highlight articles, which will be released each week until we run out of speakers to feature! We will also be releasing the full list of speakers shortly.

This week we’re turning the TEDxNormal fun over to our fourth speaker Kali Lewis.  Kali is a psychology major at Illinois Wesleyan University. While design, psychology, and education reform are at the top of her long list of passions, she also has a deep appreciation for music, the outdoors, and health. Kali is in her final semester at Illinois Wesleyan University and is aiming to return to Copenhagen, Denmark soon after graduation to pursue a career in user-centered design. She hopes to satisfy her wanderlust by traveling around the world throughout her life to better understand the differences and similarities between cultures.

Without further adieu, let’s jump in—and find out Kali’s answers to our 4.5 TEDxNormal speaker questions!

1. Why do you think TEDx talks are valuable? 

The TEDx program allows for less recognized faces and ideas to step onto the TEDx stage and share experiences. Those experiences vary from city to city, country to country, and culture to culture. Having local events pinpoints what issues and ideas are important to a group of people at a specific point in time and introduces the rest of the world to those issues and ideas. TEDx talks provide the stage for that idea to be heard.

2. If the world ends on November 6, 2015, the day before TEDx Normal, what would people die without knowing?

Though people may know about IDEO and Stanford’s d.school, no one has heard of a program like the d.school becoming available to a community as a means for solving problems and utilizing the principles of design thinking to do so. That’s because d.school is only accessible to individuals who can afford to attend one of the d.school classes, or to graduate students at Stanford University. By use of multidisciplinary teams and the principles of design thinking, the d.school has created some amazing, life-changing (and life-saving) ideas that challenged the idea of impossible feats.

3. The TED tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” What’s an idea you wish would stop being spread?

I wish people would understand that “work hard” doesn’t mean “be overworked”. I believe in working efficiently and in a way that is fulfilling.  I’ve seen people working 14 hour days in a job that is unfulfilling. I’ve seen people in school working full time while sacrificing time spent on learning, or at the very least their sanity. I appreciate hard work and believe that has built a lot of the good things that we have today, but I also know it is a source of a lot of the stresses and unrealistic expectations we experience.

4. What’s your best piece of advice for the person reading this?

Take up meditation and mindfulness – even yoga. It’s the best way to keep your sanity in the hustle and bustle of the day.

4.5 What was one time in your life when you …”found yourself liking something you thought you would not like?”

I had to take a philosophy class as a General Education requirement and was really unhappy with having to do so. Two weeks into the semester it was my favorite class. I won’t claim that I read philosophical works or remember all of the things I learned in that class, but it taught me to think beyond what I know, to question what I think I know, and to be open to alternative explanations. It challenged me to think deeply.

See Kali Lewis share her message live on November 7, 2015 at the Normal Theater in Normal, IL. Limited seating is available, but depending on your demand and support, live simulcast may be available.  This would allow thousands to celebrate the inaugural TEDxNormal event and see over a dozen impactful leaders share their idea(s) worth spreading.

Pretty great, huh?

For more information, contact event organizer Doan Winkel: DWinkel@ilstu.edu. Keep up with updates and information by following TEDxNormal on Twitter and Facebook.

Previous Speaker Spotlights

TEDxNormal Speaker Spotlight – Lisa Bodell

TEDxNormal Speaker Spotlight — Sarah Moshman

TEDxNormal Speaker Spotlight—Jeff Havens

About Kali Lewis

Kali is a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, passionate about effectuating change in the education system to make it more student-focused and more impactful for the student. After spending time studying abroad in Denmark, Kali discovered an additional passion in the intersection of psychology and design. She is a writer, an athlete, a mentor, a musician, and most of all a brilliant young mind trapped in a system that struggles to encourage and empower the change she works to bring about.

Today’s post was put together by our amazing TEDxNormal emcee, Kim Behrens. Stay tuned for more from her in the coming weeks.

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