Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What the World Needs Now...

"What the world needs now,
Is love, sweet love,
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now,
Is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone"

Yes, I am dating myself just by knowing the words and tune to this 1965 tune by Hal David but the lyrics are a fitting tribute to what my friend and colleague Kristin Pedemonti is attempting now.

First, a bit of background on this remarkable young woman. In 2005 Kristin sold her home and her possessions to Fund, Found and Facilitate volunteer project Literacy Outreach Belize. She has donated performances for over 33,340 children in 100 schools and trained 800 teachers and librarians throughout Belize. She also travels around the world sharing stories. In 2011 she was awarded the coveted National Storytelling Network’s International Story Bridge Award for her outstanding work in other countries. Now, she is featured on TED Talks, hoping to motivate others to share their joy. After viewing her video (see below, scroll all the way down the page; you don't want to miss it!) I asked Kristin to share the background of her journey for this inspiring TED Talk. True to form, she leapt at the chance with…

It all began with a bottle of bubbles on the Subway in NYC, 2008. I was sitting there, squashed in among the passengers; everyone looked somber, exhausted. So, I pulled out a bottle of bubbles (I'm always packin') and began to blow. Someone smiled. I reached into my bag and handed a bottle across the aisle, gesturing for them to join me. They did. That one bottle shared turned into 500 bottles or more, I've lost count.

That same bag contains my Free Hugs sign. I never leave home without it. That sign has traveled with me throughout the US, Europe, Central & South America and even to the Top of Mountain Machu Picchu in Peru. I organize and Share Free Hugs Every Where I go.

Fast Forward to April 2012. Puneet sent me a link to the TED Talks Worldwide Talent Search in 14 cities Around the World. He wrote, "Kristin, you need to enter this contest, but do something serious about your storytelling, not that Free Hug stuff."

But the "FREE HUG stuff" was what called out to me, demanding attention. So, I ignored his advice and submitted my one minute video and short essay about Sharing JOY through Storytelling, "I want to Share Joy because JOY is Contagious, let's make it go viral!"

TED sifted through thousands of entries and, Oh my goodness; I was one of the lucky 31 chosen for the Next Step in the Search: a five minute TED Talk in NYC. Five minutes to convince the World to "pick me, pick me" for Step 3, a full length TED Talk to present at their 2013 Worldwide Talent Search Event. I was awed by the other "selectees." A young man with no right hand played the most beautiful violin you ever heard. A 15 year old discovered a potential early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer; a scientist shared how microscopic magnets can clean water. And then there was ME, with my bottles of bubbles, Free Hugs Sign and a Big Wheel, speaking about something so simple: Joy.

Please take five minutes and allow yourself to feel some Joy. Oh, Yes, Joy is meant to be shared. Perhaps you will share some bubbles or a hug a stranger. Yes, indeed, what the World Needs Now is..... Joy. Sweet. JOY."

If you enJOYed my talk please log in to TED and leave a comment as to why this deserves to be a full length TED Talk. My heart thanks you.

HUG and ooOOoOOoooooo Bubbles!"
Kristin Pedemonti

Professional Storyteller, Literacy Advocate
Visit to learn more!

Karen Chace 2012 ©

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Regina Ress said...

Kristen is one of the great JOY-BRINGERS. And she backs up her
hugs and bubbles with dedication and fine work, not to mention talent. Way to go, Kristen!

Karen Chace said...

She sure does Regina, someone everyone should emulate! Thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment.


OnThePath said...

Cannot find this video directly on TED. the link takes us to a general TED page. Could not find by searching for your name. Could you provide the actual page, with embed code??

Karen Chace said...


Scroll down the page and you will find the video embedded in the blog post. Just click on the arrow in the center of the video and it will begin. If you have any other questions or problems let me know.


Clown Boy said...

Kristin is a very gifted storyteller and performing artist. The world is fortunate she is passionate and bold enough to use those gifts to spread the joy the world so desperately needs right now. It is an honor to call her my friend and see her so close to achieving her dream of presenting a feature on TED. Thank you Karen for sharing her story on your blog!!

Kristin Pedemonti said...

Thank you so much Karen for posting. Thank you Regina and David for the kind words.
If you have not commented directly On TED yet, or if your comment disappeared; :( I'd be deeply appreciative if you would try again. You can Also simply click on the Stars to the right of the video ON TED (I hope you choose all 5, my favorite number.) Those ratings and comments determine if we are invited to do a Full-length TED. Note: You do need to log-in to TED Firs in order to leave a comment, kinda like you had to do here.

My lil heart thanks you. And I blow bubbles in your direction