NPR's TED Radio Hour: Can Beauty Change A Life? Bill Strickland Says Yes
Not only does learning and interacting with others in a beautiful environment affect people's moods, but it can change their vocabulary and their view on the world. Strickland has made a point of including real flowers in his center, so that when someone who may have never seen an orchid before is suddenly surrounded by them, they can learn about something new. They learn how to spell it, become knowledgeable about it, and it becomes a part of their vocabulary. Not only that, but people start to believe that the world is indeed made up of beautiful things—which improves their outlook on what they can achieve in life. When you are surrounded by beautiful, positive things, Strickland says that people believe that they too are entitled to having these things in their life. "Beauty," he says, "is not just for the imagination. It's actually a way of altering human behavior for the better."
In his inspiring keynotes, Strickland shows how anyone can make a positive social change in their own community. He shares the story of Manchester Bidwell and how it went from a near-bankrupt community center to one of the most talked about social organizations in the world. Strickland can speak to any audience, whether he is addressing leaders who are looking to improve their communities or companies, or the people those leaders are looking to inspire. When you give people the right tools, he says, it is possible for anyone to become happy and productive members of society.