11-year-old Olivia Andersen talks about the global water crisis.

Ideas worth spreading. That’s what TED talks are all about. On Saturday March 21 Tacoma held its own TEDx conference at Broadway Center for the Performing Arts where local leaders spoke on various topics close to their hearts. From elephants and orca pods to the country’s problems with public education and the health care system, there was a lot to learn at TEDxTacoma. Here are few speakers that stood out.

Chip Hutch, who is known as an expert in police tactics, gave a talk on his experience as a captain and watch commander of the Kansas City Police Department. The former Army veteran explained that when his police team used kindness wherever possible to resolve a chaotic situation, the community reacted more positively to their work. Unconditional respect for the people of Kansas City proved to be an effective way to ensure safety.

Karen Povey who is the associate curator of education and conservation at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as well as a teacher at the Science and Math Institute is on a mission to better protect elephants and orca whales. She explained that in the last few years people have been focused on shutting down zoos or theme parks that keep these animals in captivity. But, far more of these creatures die in the wild due to Ivory-seeking poachers and bad conditions.

The youngest speaker was an 11-year-old honor student named Olivia Andersen. As the CEO of her tennis Hit A Tho, Andersen is working optimistically to raise money for clean water sources in Africa. She’s partnered with Gig Harbor Gives and Charity Water to help raise awareness about the global water crisis.

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli also spoke at the event on his efforts to cure post traumatic stress and other traumatic brain injuries. Read our interview with him here.

is the managing editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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