Wild Poppy Stories: TEDx Conference

September 24, 2016

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Wild Poppy recently spoke with Dana Childers, cofounder of Childers & Sargeant, a consultancy dedicated to supporting women leaders in bringing authenticity and personal meaning to their projects and careers. Dana and her partner Kristan Sargeant have hosted two TEDx events in Los Angeles and are hard at work planning their third annual TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen’s conference, to be held October 27, 2016. These day-long events are nothing short of magic and Wild Poppy couldn’t be prouder to support spreading ideas, connections and inspiration.

How did you decide to host the first TEDxWomen’s conference in Los Angeles?

We were in the early days of growing our women’s leadership coaching and consulting practice, and I had a vision on a hike one day that we were gathering a group of women together around inspiring speakers and performances. We had never been to a TEDx event before, but knew they existed and seemed to have the kind of energy I had envisioned. We went through the application process, but in truth, neither of us thought we would be granted the license. Suddenly, months later, we were notified that the license was ours! We only had 8 weeks to pull the event together. Those were probably the most terrifying and exhilarating 8 weeks of our lives.

Both TEDx events you have produced have been amazing experiences with incredibly talented speakers and attendees. What’s your secret?

These events are truly a labor of love, passion, creativity and intuition. It seems when you come from that place, what comes back from others is all kinds of synergy, excitement, grace and generosity. We feel incredibly blessed that we get to meet and collaborate with so many incredible women (and men!) from all walks of life, from our speakers to our entertainers to our audience members to our sponsors. The magic that comes together is always extraordinary.

What do you look for when scouting for speakers or performers for your events?

Our curation process is organic and somewhat mysterious, even to us. In the months leading up to the event, we do a lot of research and culling through articles, websites, suggestions from friends and colleagues, and events happening in the world around us, and then we allow our intuitions to guide our choices. Beyond our clear mandate of finding inspiring, unique and innovative women leaders, we also always have in the back of our minds our theme for the year and our intention to create an interesting balance of fields, voices, and perspectives on the stage. But sometimes both of those latter elements go out the window if we feel a spark with someone whom we know will be just right for the event.

You really do provide a full-day experience beyond even the talks and performers the drinks and food and gathering areas where attendees meet, eat and visit. How do you choose what you are going to serve?

Our philosophy is that gathering over delicious food and drink is a vital layer of the overall experience at our events, and we choose food and beverage partners whom we know will enhance that experience. We believe that it’s vital for our audience members to feel nourished and pampered during the day. We want women to be able to relax, to allow themselves to fully engage in the experience, and to genuinely connect with themselves and one another.

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Why did you select Wild Poppy as a your featured lunch drink?

Wild Poppy has been an amazing partner for our events. We love everything about Wild Poppy – the delicious and refreshing taste, first and foremost, but also its elegant, innovative and California-inspired flavors and packaging, the fact that it’s a local product, and that its founder just happens to be a dear friend. What could be better?

How do you create an atmosphere in which strangers so happily and easily gather together?

Our greatest intention is to host an experience for women that is genuine, intimate and welcoming, above all else. An experience that invites women to let down their guard and enjoy themselves and each other, be moved, strike up conversations with strangers, look each other in the eye. Honestly, we create what we ourselves crave more of in Los Angeles – an environment where women can come together joyfully, and know that not only are they welcome, but beyond that, vital to creating an exceptional experience together, and supporting one another’s leadership.

What do you consider your greatest success in producing your TEDx events?

Our greatest success is by far and away the experience that everyone gets to have when we gather. We love that women walk away inspired, elevated, and connected to their own strength and each other’s. We also love providing a platform for women speakers and performers that allows them to share their work, their leadership and themselves in the best way.

Can you share any details about your next TEDx event?

We will be hosting our next event on October 27 at Greenhouse, a stunning new event venue at PLATFORM in Culver City. As always, the mission of the day-long event will be to call forth the vital creative power of its participants by celebrating and shining a light on women innovators who are reimagining, redefining and shaping the world based on their deeply personal values, perspectives and visions. Our program this year, It’s About Time, will explore the conventions and challenges of time itself as well as the broader question, how are women demonstrating that it’s about time to lead for different outcomes? Our signature elements will be the same – amazing speakers and performers from a variety of fields, a vibrant community of LA-area women, and a beautiful venue with incredible food, drink and experiential opportunities.

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For more information about TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen, visit

http://tedxolympicblvdwomen.org

Photo credits: Annie Gabbert and Molly Marler

Wild Poppy Stories is an online series of original anecdotes, interviews, photographic essays and videos profiling people who embody the spirit and authenticity of Wild Poppy.