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An Illuminating Perspective

To me, “Illuminating” through photography is about opening up viewers’ eyes to something they’ve maybe never seen before, or something they’ve seen a million times but never quite seen it the way I chose to portray it.  Remember the way everything looked as a child?  Huge skyscrapers, seemingly giant athletes, massive 747 airplanes; often the only thing that separates the everyday from the awe-inspiring is the three feet that separate an adult from a kid.  So, I try to shoot from an angle you may not normally view things in, and I try to share each image in the way it impacted me the most.


Sun breaks through the clouds on ferry ride from Naha, Okinawa to Yoron island. Population: 6,000.


Clouds scatter as the sun rises to meet Mt. Ishizuchi (Stone Hammer);
Tallest mountain in Western Japan at 1,982 m.


Photo of Atlanta just past sunset from Jackson Street Bridge as commuters enter and depart downtown.


How do you see perspective shift your view and illuminate new understanding?

Kris Willis

Kris Willis is an observationalist, a loner who doesn’t like being alone, a fitness junkie and lover of creativity.





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TEDxPeachtree Spark Salon Recap


Recently I have become acutely aware how collaboration not only solves problems and brings people together, but it also harnesses a creative power to challenge our perception of art, of poetry, and even of collaboration itself. That was driven home at TEDxPeachtree’s  recent Salon, a small and intimate gathering which highlighted three incredible individuals whose ideas spark questions about our beliefs on the limits of collaboration.

Ayodele Heath

It was clear as Ayodele Heath spoke to the audience in a warm and rhythmic tone that awakening the inner poet in all of us is not only a passion for himself, but more importantly, a way of living collaboratively. In 2012, inspired by the early 20th century French surrealist parlor game, Exquisite Corpse, Ayodele Heath began hosting digital salons: group poetry writing exercises on his Facebook page (Syllabic Sundays, Metaphoric Mondays, Wildcard Wednesdays, and Free Verse Fridays). Amidst all of the noise on Facebook of selfies and Buzzfeed shares about what Kim Kardashian is wearing, poetry was cultivated. Over the past two years, new communities of writers across five continents began contributing to these digital salons. By leveraging the scope of social media platforms like Facebook, Ayodele was able to take down the walls which bare creativity. Consider contributing your creative spark as others do, on Ayodele’s Facebook wall or connect with Ayodele on Twitter @poetry2dot0. You can also check out Ayodele’s first published collection of poems in his new book, Otherness.

Scott Tanksley

Scott Tanksley, founder of Meals With A Mission and Authenticity, posed the idea that just as technological improvements have defined our economic culture, that maybe meaning, and the way we express it, can affect purchasing power and how economic markets are defined. As a 2008 college graduate myself, no further explanation was necessary for me to understand his implication. 2008 rocked us as a society; trust in classic business models was shattered. Scott observes that society, specifically the Millennial generation, is demanding a new business standard. Meaning is their currency. To learn how Scott is coaching companies on how to engage consumers in meaningful ways, you can click on over to his blog, and also connect with him on Twitter at @tanksley

Aaron Harris

A self-proclaimed recovering attorney, Aaron Harris is an artist to the bone. By this, I mean that he possesses a humble vulnerability and a perspective which says art is a question. At the July TEDxPeachtree Salon, Aaron described art as if it were a living, breathing, individual walking around and tapping him on the shoulder ready to ask the questions he tries to avoid. We all face these questions, but are we willing to answer? Aaron drove home the point that when we acknowledge the questions art poses, engaged communication and enhanced collaborative experiences can then occur. For a long time, Aaron explained, art asked him what does it mean to be known and understood? Art pushed him to ask the question publicly, spurring a wave of compassion, love, and a shift of perspective. There is collaboration in discovery; we all want to be fully loved and fully known at the same time. Explore Aaron’s online gallery or learn more about Aaron’s challenging perspective on art by following him on Twitter @aaronleeharris.


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10346225_604704979992_4533583507906774147_nDeborah Lubbe is the Institute and Evaluation Program Coordinator for Wellspring Living in Atlanta, Georgia. Deborah has worked with several social enterprises and nonprofits in both the US and India. Her heart is to identify needs and cultivate effective and manageable solutions for both organizations and individuals. She lives in Smyrna with her husband and likes food truck Tuesdays, organized closets, French press coffee, and her 110 lb Old English Mastiff Oliver.



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Where Are They Now? Kerry Ressler Is a Fear Chaser.

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Kerry Ressler graced the TEDxPeachtree stage in 2012. You may remember his illuminating talk on the neuroscience of emotions, particularly fear, and the possibilities of transcending into new possibilities.

Where is Kerry now? According to a recent article by the Emory Medicine Magazine, Kerry continues on the front lines of fear-disorder research. In his work at Grady Hospital, he is surveying the problem of inner city intergenerational violence. This endeavor, called the Grady Trauma Project, will bring new light to resiliency found in trauma survivors and potentially the means to serve those who have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We know almost 1/3 of people will at some point in their life have an anxiety disorder which includes PTSD. Kerry’s work may illuminate why some people naturally seem to cope with disaster, while others are overwhelmed with fear. Genes on the neurobiological level could have everything to do with resiliency and could then be passed on generationally. That would mean that fear is inheritable, and that may shed a new light on how we approach it. Kerry is passionate about helping cure and illuminate hope for those suffering now, so that their children won’t have to.

At TEDxPeachtree, we are grateful to have featured speakers like Kerry that continue to illuminate the possibilities for a better world. Watch his 2012 talk below to learn more about his work and stay tuned for more updates on past speakers throughout the summer.

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 Nia Baker has lived in Atlanta almost ten years, the longest she’s lived anywhere, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last five years, focusing on effective systems and creative communication. Nia enjoys Atlanta street art, french press coffee, and a really good adjective.

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