Pecha Kucha 20×20, meaning Chit Chat in Japanese, are informal community gathering of passionate presenters where they can speak on any topic that “they just can’t not talk about” says BCS chapter founder Jennifer Robertson. The way it works is presenters are permitted 20 images each lasting 20 seconds and advancing automatically as the presenters talk along in rhythm with the images. Originally, this format was developed by architects in Japan “because architects talk too much”. In order to allow for a creative outlet for people wanting to discuss topics without exhausting their audience, Pecha Kucha was born. Currently, there are over 1000 cities globally hosting Pecha Kucha Nights. They are hosted in all types of informal settings such as bars, restaurants, studios, beaches, etc. Anyone is allowed to present at these events, and in our Bryan, Texas location the speakers are chosen through either friend or family nomination or by requesting to speak. The goal of these presenters is to talk about anything they love most and captivate their audience with new ideas and ways of thinking.
On June 4th, 2019 PechaKucha Night, Bryan. Vol. 19 was hosted in The Grand Stafford Theater by the Texas A&M Institute for Applied Creativity. It was interesting to notice that it was truly a social gathering with people who clearly frequented Pecha Kucha, attending both the community atmosphere as well as the exciting and informative topics. There were many people sitting and conversing casually before and after the event, demonstrating that this is a wonderful way to connect creative people in the Bryan College Station area. AdventGX is lucky to be able to take part in sponsoring this program which brought so many different types of people together in the community. Personally, I was able to hear people speak about topics that I was not very familiar with which sparked my interest in these interesting fields.
The speaker’s discussed a wide range of topics. Beginning with Andrew Roblyer, a theater genius who discussed the power of patient-centered medicine using artistic simulations to help students learn how to personably interact with patients. He talked about how the Clinical Learning Resource Center trained their students in a uniquely theatrical way. They have actors, standardized patients, work with medical professionals to simulate patients in order to teach students how to gain empathy and a better understanding of their patients which at times can be lost in the medical field. Roblyer allowed us to understand how the art of theater has impacted medical education and an unaddressed patient’s need for positive human contact in the medical field.
The next speaker, Matthew Hurley, a software applications developer, discussed the genocidal artificial intelligence is a red herring. He addressed many myths about artificial intelligence capabilities of taking over the world. Hurley allowed us to consider that there really is no threat from technology alone but only from the people controlling the technology. He states that computers are not intelligent alone and cannot make their own decisions, they do not understand anything outside of what the are programmed to understand. They can only operate on what they already know how to handle and they are confined by the perfectly constructed instructions they are given. He leaves us with: “If AI is a threat, it is because it is compliant. The danger that AI represents is the opportunity to shift the blame from the human condition to something else”. This eloquently constructed phrase left the audience with a lot to consider.
The third speaker of the night, Ryan Gerlich, the extension program specialist in the biological & agricultural engineering department at Texas A&M discussed the advances in onsite wastewater treatment. He shares how these systems have evolved over the years and the importance of these systems. Gerlich talks about the positive environmental impact that septic systems create by reusing water and its growing demand.
The next speaker, Luke Lyons, an architectural A&M Doctoral Student, views the entire world in Legos. He uses Legos as a creative outlet which allows his innovations to come to life. He discusses many outstanding structures he has created from Legos and shares how Legos can be used as a great way to promote creativity while learning in the STEM field. He even constructed a replica of the academic plaza in full Lego that he has placed on his desk today. He allowed us to understand his creative outlet and hopefully inspired people to develop new ways of learning in the STEM field today.
The last speaker of the night, Tony Okoromadu, a multicultural program manager, shared his life story through random everyday objects that shaped him into who he is today. He unveils some of the most tragic situations that influenced his life and how to positively overcome adversity. He told us his journey to finding himself and uncovering the strongest truths in his life. He reminded us “the more you know the more you realize you don’t know and that should make you humble because you should always feel a certain sense of awe”. Okoromadu’s impactful talk gave us a new understanding of how to have a better outlook on life and cherish every small moment
As we have seen by the diversity in the presentations given at the last PechaKucha Night, this gathering promotes a space for creative minds to freely express their ideas and stories with an audience that is excited to listen. This gathering has tremendous room for expansion as more and more people join in to listen to others’ ideas and perhaps inspire the boldness in someone else to also share their own. Pecha Kucha has been able to unite a unique group of individuals and is globally impacting people’s lives and it can all be seen first hand in Bryan, Tx.
There are many ways to be able to be a part of the future Pecha Kucha events in our Bryan, TX community. To attend the next Pecha Kucha Night, you can get information from https://www.pechakucha.com/cities/bryan or search “PechaKucha Night Bryan” on Facebook. They are hosted 4 times a year, usually at the Grand Stafford Theater in Downtown Bryan. If you are not able to attend the next event or even want to listen to previous PechaKucha Nights you can listen to past Pecha Kuchas online at the previously listed website. You won’t regret coming out to the next PechaKucha Night where you can learn, discuss, and perhaps even get inspired to share your unique knowledge with others!