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Posted By - Kate Spencer On February 18, 2016

#ItWasNeverADress

Tania Katan’s TEDx Talk is as cool as the turned-on-its head symbol she dreamed up while working with the apparently equally cool Axosoft’s Sara Breeding.

Her story is so interesting and laugh-out-loud funny that when she finally reveals the punchline “Cannot UnSee”, you realize that she is challenging everyone’s preconceived notions. 

Tania starts by telling about her theatre background and her love of the suspension of disbelief and poetic leap of faith we all give to a play, a piece of art, a movie, a novel. While working - and disrupting - an art museum with her “out of the box” ideas, she got a call from Axosoft CEO Lawdan Shojaee. Shojaee needed an “evangelist” to help spark creative conversations at a Girls in Tech conference.

While on a walk, it strikes. Back in the office she brings the universal women’s bathroom symbol into Sara Breeding’s office and draws lines on it to show that while from the “back” we thought it was a dress, from the “front” it’s actually….a cape. Sara gasps, “It was never a dress.” Wow! #ItWasNeverADress.

With 18 million impressions in the 24 hours after its reveal, this symbol achieved even more than these incredibly creative, awesome thinkers could have imagined. Yes it sparked conversation, but the best part was that the symbol itself required no explanation.

It challenges all of us to think out of the box, push for change by creating realities that cannot be “unseen”, sparking conversation and hoping to get to a point where no explanation is needed regarding the need for equality in pay, access to financing, opportunities and recognition.

The sign shift is a reminder to look everyday at what seems status quo and recognize when change is long overdue. And take a risk.

Tania ended her talk with a quote from Aristotle, “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.”

Cook On!

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