Here’s an improbable formula: Mix one part Harry Potter fan with one part Norway native, add a dash of Clemson education and stir gently. Result — Even Skjervold!
What, you say? Haven’t heard of him? How about South Yeast Labs? No? Stay tuned.
Even is a proud TED talk addict, like so many all over the world. He says, “I had seen a lot of TED talks online. I knew it would be a good opportunity to spread some thoughts about how much of an impact small things found in nature can have.”
Even’s hope for his TEDxGreenville talk is simple. He wants to switch our thinking.
“What if, when somebody thinks ‘I wish I could swim like a shark’ or ‘sharks are such good swimmers,’ they thought instead ‘why do sharks swim so well?’ This question could be the basis for research leading to valuable benefits for everyone,” he says. It’s this kind of thinking that led Even to a cooperative start-up venture which has developed into a viable business. South Yeast Labs, which focuses on the discovery and manufacture of regionally unique wild yeast strains, has ignited sparks (and deliciously unique yeasty brews) all over Greenville’s craft beer making community and beyond. Intrigued by biomimicry, this scientist has ideas that demonstrate how nature may truly have the answer to some of the world’s major problems.
Even is serious about the potential impact of his talk because, as he says, “…scientific progress is a key factor in driving humanity forward. It’s what lets my thoughts be broadcast across the world (Hei der hjemme i Norge!), it’s what helps us combat disease and suffering, and it’s what will eventually allow us to colonize new planets. But it is an enormous puzzle. If my idea can inspire somebody to find even one of the pieces sometime in the future, what could be more important?”
Even’s program team guide throughout the TEDxGreenville nomination process, Caroline Caldwell, gives us clues to his message on April 10. She sees it as “…an introduction to learning from nature — and then moving to change the world!”
That is a brave and powerful concept, don’t you think?