Looking Back and Thinking Forward

Beth HaleyNews

Although this marks my first year as a volunteer for TEDxABQ, I have been close to the TEDxABQ community for several years.

I first learned about TEDxABQ in 2014 from my mother, Celeste Murray. She currently teaches high school English in Farmington, and she and her colleagues shared a love for showing TED talks in the classroom. I myself liked to cite them in my persuasion essays and presentations! But none of us had heard of TEDxABQ, to my recollection.

In 2013, when she taught middle school English, my mother and her students celebrated National Kindness Week. This caught the eye Madison “Peach” Steiner, and they quickly became friends. You may remember Madison’s talk at TEDxABQ 2014—her story of how she discovered healing powers in painting shoes for children fighting chronic illnesses or living with disabilities, and how she created Peach’s Neet Feet and a campaign of kindness:

Madison Peach Steiner’s talk at TEDxABQ 2014

Madison shared the news with us that she would be speaking at TEDxABQ, and we went to see her talk.

That set off a chain reaction. My family and I enjoyed 2014 so much that we went to 2015 and 2016 as well. Each time, I was enchanted with the experience. I saw speakers from every corner of the future—including my own!—and they were sharing ideas that gave me optimism for New Mexico’s future. From Rusty Rutherford’s talk on changing lives through comedic performance:

Rusty Rutherford’s talk at TEDxABQ 2014 

To Jessie Brown’s playtime with bees:

Jessie Brown’s talk at TEDxABQ 2015

To Stephanie Stewart’s powerful message about loving ourselves:

Stephanie Stewart’s talk at TEDxABQ 2016              

These are but a small part of a grander community that welcomes innovation and imagination. At TEDxABQ 2017, we want to remember that. Rather than an event theme such as 2014’s “Whispers and Roars” or 2016’s “Think Viral”, I’m thrilled to announce this year we are exploring the value that brought me to TEDxABQ to begin with: our shared future as a community, and what makes TEDxABQ stand out, not only in the Land of Enchantment, but the world.



  • Blog Written by Liam Murray