Get to know the accomplished individuals who will present at the TEDxGreenville conference on April 8th! In this series, writer Jennifer Oladipo asks some compelling questions.
Leo Ferguson is a retired systems engineer who has turned his interests toward improving his community, developing a model that combines social justice and change, economic development, community engagement, and technology.
What was the last idea, big or small, that you thought was an idea worth sharing?
I develop a Youth Civic Participation Program (YCPP). The major focus of the YCPP is to refocus the negative energies of “at-risk youth.” We have concluded that many of the at-risk youth have demonstrated various talents and abilities that, if channeled in a more positive way, would be a tremendous asset to the community. A major strength of the program design is its systemic approach to problems faced by today’s youth. The program is multifaceted and includes components which address young adults’ developmental need for support and mentoring, role modeling and esteem building, as well as their pragmatic need for career guidance, employment preparation, experience and academic strengthening. In this way, the service to youth outlined in this program culminates to provide a more comprehensive approach to both the individual development and the issues youth face in contemporary times.
How does your work or art affect the way you see yourself?
I feel fortunate as an individual to have been blessed with a meaningful and rewarding experience with humankind. It is not often that one gets to participate is something larger than yourself.
TEDxGreenville provides a vehicle to disseminate unique information and ideas to a broad and diverse segment of the Greenville area population.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?
The TED video I most enjoyed is Simon Sinek’s talk on how great leaders inspire action. I enjoyed his presentation because it explored human behavior as it relates to marketing or what causes a greater commitment by people to a desired outcome.
Where do you find inspiration?
Generally, I find inspiration in the things that are built, both literally and figuratively. To see a house constructed or an aircraft designed and then manufactured is inspiring. However, I also am inspired by the growth and development of people. Observing and seeing people working together for a common good, especially when they are not motivated by personal gain.
What’s a big problem that just needs an engineering solution?
Engineering needs to produce a society which is not dependent of fossil or expendable energy sources. These energy sources along with the products they function will need to be cost effective such that the average consumer can obtain them. The implication, from these engineering feats, have far reaching implication in the quality of life and is essential to saving the planet.
What is the next frontier for the human race?
Humankind will establish a colony in space for human habitation. However, I believe, the challenges to resolve the peaceful and productive earth is still a frontier that we need to master.
For more information about Kaleidoscope speakers and performers, visit our 2016 presenter page, where extended bios are available. The April 8th event is sold out, but watch for details about our free live feed.