Ideas Worth Spreading at WM

Image from Wikimedia Commons

This past Sunday, I joined the annual TEDxWM. I was so honored to belong to an exceptional team of volunteers. I not only learned how an intellectual conference was organized, but also met some inspiring minds. I am excited to share what I learned from this TEDx conference!

“320 Cakes: The Existential Escapade”

When the volunteer team went over slides of the speakers, I gazed at the number—320—for five minutes. Why would one make 320 cakes? I wondered if the enormous work was for a laborious flavor test or baking-based activism. As the speaker Natalie Rowland shared the real stories, which were much more outstanding than my guesses, I was truly amazed. I was also surprised to find out that this excellent student speaker was the girl I volunteered with at a Chinese movie workshop in the Global Film Festival in February.

Natalie made 320 birthday cakes for everyone in her graduating class of high school. Not to mention the span of almost every day year-round, each cake was delicately customized. Each cake had the birthday friend’s personal story, favorite color, and favorite flavor. As sometimes she needed to bake multiple cakes one day (up to seven once!), the delivery brought many fun stories. She might interrupt class and sing the birthday song alone with people around looking at her.

Image from Pixabay

Natalie’s baking magic let her meet everyone in her senior class in a remarkably rewarding way. In her talk, Natalie said, “I just know how to tell my story.” She really did through creating individualized sweetness, sharing immense joy in the community, and presenting her unique efforts to WM. I also checked her instagram account (@natmakescakes), in which the images of cakes and smiles were both aesthetically and spiritually satisfying. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at her baking project, which will surely add some sweetness to your life! 

Quotes from the Speakers (Approximately the Same as the Original Sentences)

“Ask yourself when using social media: do I want followers or friends? Likes or love?” from Larissa May, founder of #HalftheStory.

“‘Compassionate’ means to suffer with and to feel for.” from Joseph Lawless, a PhD student at WM.

“As I promised you that the spring would come, it will come, won’t it?” from President Reveley.


The topic of this year’s TED talk at WM was “transform.” The six speakers did make unique changes to the communities they affiliated with. Natalie was right since “all their stories became my favorite story” when I was the listener. In addition to the impressive enlightenment from the talks, I was deeply fulfilled to work with fellow volunteers to develop ideas for the ideas worth spreading. Let our insights sparkle and thrive at WM!

Thumbnail Image from Wikimedia Commons