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Hello, my name is Birke Baehr, and I'm 12 years old.
I came here today to talk about the power of ideas worth spreading.
The talk you just watched me perform was just 442 days ago,
right here in Ashville,
at the TEDxNextGenerationAsheville event
held at the Orange Peel.
That day I was excited, nervous and inspired.
Little did I know what type of profound effect
my words on that stage would have.
When I talked about my passion,
for what's wrong with our food system.
About a month later, my talk was posted on the Internet.
Little did I know that it would be shared and viewed by many different people.
I watched in amazement as the number of views started to rise.
I was even more amazed when Ashley Cooper,
the director of TEDxNextGenerationAsheville,
told me that TED was interested in putting my talk on TED.com.
My Mom started receiving requests
for me to be speaking at different events and groups.
I started a website and a Facebook page too,
to share with other people
what I was continuing to learn about food and farming
I'm pretty sure that my talk, that you just watched,
has around 400,000 views,
and it may still be the most viewed TEDx talk today.
TED.com posting of my presentation has around 500,000 views.
It has been a humbling experience.
When the organizers of TEDxAsheville asked me to tell my story,
and what has happened since my talk, I wasn't sure.
Early on, after my talk went viral,
many different people and groups were contacting me.
And one thing that I wasn't interested in was acting,
or talking about myself.
The main thing was that I really just wanted
to keep spreading my message about food and farming.
So, when I was contacted by
the Nevada County grown and Sustainable Food And Farm Conference
to speak there at the end of January of this year, I said "Yes".
I was fortunate enough to speak alongside other food activists and farmers,
like Dr. Will Winter, Aaron Lucich, Mark McAfee,
and the most truly humbling part was that I got to introduce my hero,
and the Keynote speaker, Joel Salatin.
All great people and great speakers on the subject of food and farming.
It was a wonderful experience that I'm so thankful for
and an opportunity for me to spread my message
of something that I care so much about.
And not only did I get to speak, but I also got to meet,
and really talk with these other inspirational advocates,
for a more sane food system.
Corbin Billings, with the documentary film "Bite Size"
about childhood obesity, interviewed me and Joel Salatin too,
about what's going on with our food system.
Meredith McKissick, with the Organic Growers School,
invited me to come speak at the Ignite-Agriculture event.
I was even lucky enough to get a scholarship
to the Organic Growers School Spring event.
I love any reason to visit Ashville.
And -- (Laughter)
And I was very excited to speak at Ignite.
In April, I traveled to Rome, Italy,
where I would be filmed on IL Senso Della Vita.
When translated, means "The meaning of life."
I could not believe it, Rome, Italy,
the home of the Slow Food Organization.
I can't pronounce in Italian what they call me,
but when translated, it means "The little organic farmer."
While in Rome, I also spoke at John Cabot University
which is an American University in Rome.
I really enjoyed speaking to the college students,
and I also did a question and answer session, too.
During my Italian adventure, I stayed and worked on an organic farm.
I learned how to prune olive trees,
and even helped build a chicken tractor.
Next, I was asked to be filmed for another documentary film.
My Grand Dad and I met the film crew in Santa Barbara, California.
I think it was pretty neat being filmed on the West Coast.
After that, I was fortunate enough
to speak at the TEDxKnoxville kickoff party.
An event to promote the first ever TEDx event
in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
I think it's such a great thing to see TEDx
popping up in different cities, like Knoxville.
I've also spoken at local Sertoma and Kiwanis clubs in the Knoxville area.
Over the summer, I've helped one of my grand dad's neighbor,
who has a small market garden.
I helped him plant, harvest, and I even got up really early
and went to one of the local markets.
And after all that work, I still want to be a farmer.
In September, I spoke at the TEDxRedmond event
with a bunch of other kids my age and older,
who have a passion for something that they really care about.
And the main thing that I took away from that event
is how you shouldn't wait to speak your mind.
And one of the things I said in my TEDx talk,
is how I want to be an organic farmer when I grow up,
but I'm learning that I can be one right now.
I've learned that I'm making a difference,
just by spreading my ideas.
And one of the things that I think made my TEDx talk go viral,
was because it was coming from a kid.
Adults like John Robbins,
who I met at the Bonfire Heights event that I spoke at in September,
have been saying this stuff since the 60's and 70's.
Even more, was that I came onto this knowledge
just by being curious and asking questions,
questions my parents couldn't even answer.
It was the power of my idea
of what was being fed to us on TV,
in flashy packages and fancy boxes,
and even plastic toys through the drive-through,
wasn't the whole truth.
It was me, putting myself out there,
nervous and excited to tell what I feel is the truth.
I have to say,
it made me mad when folks started commenting on YouTube
about how someone told me to say these things about the food system,
or even about how GMOs aren't bad for us.
But I have to admit, although we don't agree,
at least it has people thinking about the food system.
For me, spreading my message for healthier eating and living is about -
taking care of the animals and the soil that we treat,
and in turn, treating ourselves right.
I can't tell you because TEDx has been a huge platform for me.
It has helped me spread my message and my ideas,
to make a more sustainable food system.
My talk has inspired people
to go to local farmer's markets,
and even start their own gardens.
And I can't tell you how thankful I am,
to have been given the opportunity, and the platform,
to speak about something that I'm so passionate about.
To make a difference with words and knowledge.
To fight against things such as GMOs,
the massive use of agrochemicals,
and what I feel are greedy food monopolies.
I want to encourage you to give it a try.
Apply to a TEDx event, because until you do,
you'll never really know what the power of an idea worth spreading is.
Thank you.
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【TEDx】TEDxAsheville - Birke Baehr - What it means to speak at TEDx

1291 Folder Collection
侯孟華 published on January 5, 2015
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