To start, I am immensely grateful to all the people who came together and made my talk possible. The TEDxCherryCreek team have been a fantastic resource and have been so helpful in talk design and training. I would also like to thank the rest of my cohort for the talk practices we had together. Hearing very different perspectives was nothing short of incredibly helpful.
The day itself was an absolute whirlwind; somehow hours felt like mere moments. Except for time on the stage. Once I was on the stage, it felt like time stopped. All of a sudden, the talk was the only thing that mattered. The stage was my space. Among the cameras, lights and crew, I was able to deliver what I think was the best version of the talk I had given so far.
I am really happy to have had the opportunity to talk in great detail about why diversity is going to be key to designing the next generation of spacecraft. However, while the talk had always centered on the importance of the next wave of human spaceflight and the opportunities for more diverse space crews, it had not always focused precisely on quite how fundamental diversity will be to it. The talk went through a highly iterative process of me giving the talk to different people, collating feedback and giving it again. It was fairly easy to find people within my field who gave extremely valuable feedback on the small quantitative part of the talk. My friends were very much able to help me fine tune the technical details. I am also incredibly thankful for how self-supportive my TEDx cohort is. The talk in its final form would absolutely not have been possible without the practice sessions that we were able to run amongst ourselves where we listened to each other’s talks and were able to give feedback to one another as people completely outside the area of expertise or topic (e.g. how does one explain the details of astronaut performance enhancement in a way that everyone can understand and also care to listen).
Immediately following my talk, many of my peers reached out and mentioned that they were not aware of exactly why diverse teams in space exploration are so important. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to reach so many people via the TEDx platform.