Shining a light on Oregon innovation

By Andrew Over, Regional Vice President, Regence
April 27, 2017

Across the areas we serve, Regence is committed to building strong, equitable and vibrant communities. Our employees serve on more than 100 non-profit boards and donate countless hours to our community partners each year. We are grateful to partner with organizations like TEDxPortland who encourage the same innovative, people-focused spirit we pursue each and every day.

On April 15, 2017, the greater Portland community came together for the seventh annual TEDxPortland conference to celebrate “the light in all of us.” Regence was proud to be a sponsor of the conference for the second year and to host the first ever TEDx Portland Headquarters, in partnership with Provenance Hotels and The Sentinel. Reflecting on the event, we came away with four key takeaways:

  • Leading the Way for Small Business: As entrepreneur Stephen Green shared, 85 percent of Oregon companies have 10 employees or less. Across the state, we champion small, family businesses that have the type of craftsmanship that can only be passed down from generation to generation. We were reminded that where we spend our money matters—even where you buy your cup of coffee can make a difference.
  • Sparking Passion in Education: This year TEDxPortland featured two speakers, both still in high school, who are taking their passion for learning far beyond the classroom. The audience was encouraged to ensure our children have the courage and the heart to engage with their passions, ultimately building the next generation of Oregon thought leaders. Take Ragini Dindukurthi for example. She’s a high school freshman who’s researching how virtual reality can treat phantom limb pain for amputees.
  • Creating Renewable Resources: Part of building great communities means building them in smart, sustainable ways that will thrive for generations to come. What’s good for the community is often good for our economy, too. The conference featured ideas on everything from holding global water projects accountable, to opportunities to pioneer the future of cross laminated timber (CLT) construction.
  • “We Welcome All Comers”: The Pacific Northwest has a pioneering spirit that welcomes all, regardless of race, religion or background. Throughout the day, we heard several messages of inclusion, including a powerful musical performance from PHAME, a community where adults with disabilities come together to participate in the arts.

Thanks again to everyone who helped make this great event possible, and thanks to TEDxPortland for continuing to inspire Oregonians to reach higher.

Want to learn more about TEDxPortland 2017? Check out the website, photos from the event and speaker information.