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Western culture overvalues ambition as one of our highest virtues and undervalues contentment as antithetical to ambition and success. Aliza Weller's work with high arctic Inuit communities and experience teaching Zen meditation and yoga to maximum security men's prison inmates has led her to question these values and to discover the power of replacing ambition with inner contentment and outer aspiration.
This TEDxSantaCruz talk is one of 22 surrounding our theme of "Activate" at the third full-day TEDxSantaCruz event held March 8, 2014 at the Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, CA. http://www.tedxsantacruz.org/
Aliza Weller is a global training Instructional Designer for a well-known tech company in Silicon Valley and Co-Founder of a play-based learning institute. Her central work is to help others develop courage, authenticity, and to aspire toward inner greatness and depth. She taught Zen meditation and yoga in maximum security men's prisons. She created play-based urban programs that catalyzed policy change and galvanized 30,000 students to walk and bike to school to improve their health and that of the environment. She lived for three years in the high Canadian Arctic Circle, doing cross-cultural resource management work, where playfulness is a survival skill because winters have 24-hour darkness and -70 temperatures, and where she learned to play with the wind, kite boarding on the frozen ocean. With a background in Education, Communications, Biology, Law, and a Masters degree in Environmental Studies, Aliza advises on the Board of Directors of the North American Association for Environmental Education and the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. Her Arctic writing has been nominated for national literary awards. http://www.intelligentplay.org/ http://www.joyfulnessyoga.com/
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)