Last month, Communities In Schools welcomed Manoj Saxena, general manager of Watson Solutions at IBM, to its national board of directors. Saxena is responsible for the commercialization of Watson, one of the most sophisticated computers in the world.
Manoj Saxena is passionate about innovations in research and technology, and knows that finding success cannot come without accepting the risk of failure. Last year, he presented a TEDx talk in San Jose, Calif. about finding the “courage to fail.” TEDx is a spinoff of TED, a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” Presenters at TED and TEDx conferences have 18 minutes to share their knowledge and inspire others to change the world. But while the official TED conferences only happen twice a year, TEDx events happen regularly all over the world.
During his TEDx talk, Saxena discussed how people cannot achieve their goals without challenging themselves to do better, to take risks and to overcome their fears. “Everyone has the desire to succeed,” Saxena said. “But very few people have the courage to fail. If you really accept the notion of ‘it’s ok for me to fail,’ and go after it, then an incredible thing happens.”
Every day, students served by Communities In Schools overcome their fears, surmount difficult life circumstances and even come back from the brink of failure. Our dedicated site coordinators instill in students the idea that they are capable of great things, and the self-assurance to shape their own futures – regardless of what has happened in the past, be it a failed class, a school suspension or even time in jail. With that knowledge and confidence, students begin to blossom and transform their lives.
Watch Manoj Saxena’s TEDx talk below and tell us: What failures have you overcome? What did you learn from the experience?