Dr. Giacomo Santangelo was one of seven speakers at TEDxFordhamU, which focused on the theme “Roots of Change.”
“We wanted to make sure we had a variety of unique talks touching upon many different schools of thought,” said Sal Cocchiaro, GSB ’17, USG VP of the Gabelli School of Business.
“As a result we have many different community members, including alumni, professors and students participating in the evening.”
The first speaker of the evening was Dr. Giacomo Santangelo, an economist with training in quantitative and qualitative research and analysis. In his presentation, “Disney: A Ganymedean ‘Toy Story,’” Giacomo asserted a recurring theme in Walt Disney’s movies based off the Greek myth of Ganymede and Zeus, as well as present day issues. Although it may seem that Walt Disney was promising viewers unlimited youth, according to Giacomo, Disney’s message was much deeper and and resonated with viewers.
“The only time characters get what they want in Disney movies is when they are brave, unselfish, truthful. Therefore, the Ganymedian message that Disney asserts is to simply be nice.” Giacomo said. “In 2016, today, that is a very important lesson that we must hold close.”
Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, an internationally experienced bioethicist and communications strategist, presented “Everything I Know About Bioethics I Learned From the Golden Girls,” at TedxFordhamU. Yuko asserted this idea through discussion of the complex characterization and situations that the Golden Girls overcome.
“The four main characters are an effective lens for considering bioethics issues because each character is so solidly developed that it’s possible to explore complex issues through their ethical decision-making process,” said Yuko.
Therefore, Yuko was able to discuss four ethical principles — autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice, through the stories of the Golden Girls. For example, the character Sophia dealt with the issue of autonomy regarding suicide. Sophia had to weigh the risks and benefits of witnessing her friend’s suicide. On one hand she did not want her friend to die alone, but on the other hand she was fundamentally against the idea of suicide.
Currently, Yuko is the program administrator for the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute. In addition, she is the founding and senior editor of the Fordham Ethics & Society blog. Dr. Yuko also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Bioethics Initiative and as an external ethics expert for the European Research Council.
Young Lee, director of the Innovative Workplace Institute, presented “Disengage to Engage: New Workplace Metrics.” In her presentation, Lee discussed the challenges in the workplace such as cognitive overload, absenteeism and general workplace boredom and unhappiness. According to Lee, creating a healthy workplace will allow for higher productivity, financial savings, healthy organizational culture and will enhance the company’s reputation.
“I encourage you to think about how you implement workplace wellbeing in your own lives and the lives of those around you.” Lee said. “By doing this, we can improve our own and other’s quality of life and create a sustainable workplace.”
Joshua Fredenburg, a nationally acclaimed speaker, media commentator, leadership and diversity consultant, relationship expert and author of five books, presented “Fundamentals of Resiliency.” Fredenburg discussed the six fundamental habits to utilize in order to mitigate failure and to increase daily success.
“Every successful person will have a story to tell. Every individual that succeeds is at some point is going to have a story or an obstacle they had to overcome.” Fredenburg said. “There are a set of practical things that people can do in order to enable them to endure, to bounce back, to deal with obstacles to get to their desired outcomes.”
Fredenburg encouraged the audience to create a daily motivational routine. This may consist of affirmations, positive music, prayer and talking with positive people.
Second, Fredenburg asserted the need to possess the right perspective.
“If you have the right perspective, you can make a whole situation better,” he said. “There is a lesson to learn, an opportunity to be apprehended in every situation. When I studied the people who change the world, they have the ability to face a challenge and use it as a catapult.”
He also encouraged the audience to be purpose-driven in every area, possess an attitude of gratitude, create a strong support team and live with courageous faith.
“The ability to think, speak and act despite the challenges between you and your desired goal is an essential skill to have,” Fredenburg said. “When the pressure comes up, you don’t allow the pressure to hold you back.”
Cocchiaro presented a speech on “Me Being Me, and You Being You.” Cocchiaro said that the only way to understand others is to first understand yourself.
“I want you to search your heart and search your mind and consider the question, ‘who am I?’” said Cocchiaro. “I want you to wrestle it, wrangle it, and tame it. Know your story and be it.
Nicholas Tampio, an associate professor of political science at Fordham, presented “Democracy and the Test Refusal Movement.” In his discussion, Tampio talked about the Common Core and some of its issues with standards such as teaching to the test, teacher evaluations, instructional time, corporations in schools, privatization of schools and a lack of conversation with parents.
“Democracy means consulting the people who are affected by a policy.” said Tampiois. “We were affected by Common Core, but we were not necessarily consulted. The people should be able to say when the shoe doesn’t fit.”
Tampio researches contemporary politics and philosophy, specifically the legacy of the Enlightenment. He has written “Kantian Courage”, “Deleuze’s Political Vision” and several peer-reviewed articles in leading journals such as the Journal of Politics, Political Theory and Politics & Religion. Currently, Tampio is writing a book on democracy and national education standards.
Chester Elton, co-author of several successful leadership books, presented “The Power of Recognition: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” His books “All In,” “The Carrot Principle” and “What Motivates Me” have been New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestsellers. In his presentation, Elton impressed the idea of giving out little “carrots,” or signs of appreciation, to those around you every day.
“If you are having a tough day, go out and appreciate someone,” said Elton. “Little things can make big changes. When the headlines are filled with vulgarity and crassness, we have to work together to change that.”
TEDxFordhamU was announced at the last annual Gabelli Town Hall. Cocchiaro officially announced the event at the beginning of the meeting.
The event has been in the works since fall of 2015. It was produced and funded by three different parties: United Student Government, Fordham College Rose Hill (FCRH) discretionary funding and Gabelli School of Business (GSB) discretionary funding. Maura Mast, dean of Rose Hill, and Donna Rapaccioli, dean of GSB, worked closely with Cocchiaro to organize the event.
“This event represents how Fordham College Rose Hill and the Gabelli School of Business and work together and integrated in order to put on an amazing event,” said Patrick Casaccio, FCRH ’18.
Only 100 guests were permitted to attend this event. As a result, 25 GSB students and 25 FCRH students received tickets. The remaining tickets were given to campus leaders and faculty to divvy out at their discretion. The event was also live streamed to Keating 3rd. There was also food and other interactive events.
“We made an investment in TEDx because the event is a perfect marketing tool for the university,” said Cocchiaro. “In addition, this event will put us in a prime position to have more Tedx events or conferences in the future with greater crowd size in order to spread more knowledge with the community.”