It’s been over three years now since I first heard of Max Strom. At the time he was just another TEDx nominee that came in via the web. We did our due diligence, speaking to the nominator (bravo, Victor Chen!) and watching what online videos of him were available at that time.
These initial inputs provided an image of an accomplished yoga master, successful author and speaker. Even so, his soft-spoken manner left me somewhat skeptical that he would make a compelling TEDx speaker. Only after talking to Max on the phone did it become clear why we should choose him. His message was highly relevant in our increasingly tech-driven world.
At TEDxGreenville 2011, Max Strom walked onto the stage and delivered a talk that really hit home, entitled “There is No App for Happiness.” He told us how technology was moving into ever more parts of our lives, yet this seemingly helpful development was not making us more happy. He told us about how we can rediscover happiness – or find it for the first time – not through more technology, but by taking back control of our lives.
Max’s talk is the most popular TEDxGreenville video to date, with over 24,000 views.
So, what has Max been up to since his talk at the Gunter Theater? To start with, he published his book, There’s No App for Happiness, in August 2013.
He was also invited to speak at TEDxKC (Kansas City) in August 2012, where he spoke to an audience of 1,500, the fourth largest TEDx event in the USA, and gave an updated version of the talk he gave in Greenville.
Following these two events, Max has been doing a LOT of traveling. In each of the past two years he has been on the road for 200 days out of each year leading workshops and retreats across the world. He continues to be in demand by practitioners of personal transformation and yoga, but is now also a sought after speaker for self-improvement events. Max also speaks at medical conferences, where he talks to healthcare professionals about rediscovering the meaning of their work and life.
When I asked Max about his experience at TEDxGreenville, he said it was an honor to be invited, but perhaps the most stressful and exciting speaking engagement yet. “TED asks you to do the talk of your life in a very personal way, without any speaker notes,” he said. TED encourages speakers to prepare by asking the question “If you had the chance to speak to the most important people in the world, what would you talk about?” According to Max, “It’s a really fantastic experience.”
Max’s advice for anyone reading this: “TEDxGreenville is a fantastic event. If someone has something else booked on that day, they should cancel it. The TEDx events are one of the hopes of humanity. You hear from people with good hearts and great ideas, looking to make positive change in the world.”
We at TEDxGreenville humbly agree!
Max will be in Greenville January 10-12 teaching at Greenville Yoga, and again on April 26th where he will speak at the Annual Conference of the SC Society for Clinical Social Work.
Max Strom’s TEDxGreenville 2011 talk, There Is No App for Happiness.
With this post, one in a series of past TEDxGreenville presenter updates, we hope to answer questions that we’ve asked a lot and have heard from many of you, So, they shared their idea/performance, what then? What have they been up to? Where are they now?
Marc Bolick is a co-founder of TEDxGreenville and served as curator for the first three years. He remains connected through his work on our Program and Planning teams.