That’s how Adam Savage, star of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” and “Savage Builds” and author of the New York Times bestseller "Every Tool’s a Hammer: Lessons from a Lifetime of Making,” led off his Wednesday keynote address at IDEAcademy, co-sponsored by Eastman and the East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology.
The event posed the challenge: “Forging your future. What’s your tool of choice?"
Two themes dominated the event: the power of happiness and inclusion.
“Nothing about you is an accident. God made you,” said Leo Giaudrone, CEO of The Happiness Company.
Eastman chemical engineer Subhashini Vashisth noted: “I do believe there is a better self hiding in each of us.”
East Tennessee State University Roan Scholar Cierra Linka talked about how she mentors kids at the Holston United Methodist Home for Children. “I want them to know that being different is empowering, that being different is something of value of worth just like them,” she said. “Be consistent. Be steady. Show up.”
Savage talked about obsession — his obsession with film director Stanley Kubrick and doing things like making space suits and movie props.
“I want a robot dog — so he can feed my other dogs,” he told IDEAcademy attendees.
When asked about obsession, Savage said, “It’s about giving people as much permission as possible to let their freak flag fly. We all have parts inside of us that we don’t necessarily reveal to each other, and one of the ways we reveal that are the things that we make or the things we give away. ... I’m here to tell people those things you can’t stop thinking about, those are really important to pay attention to.”
Concerning the recent death of his “Mythbusters” co-star Jessi Combs, Savage said he was saddened.
“She was a staunch advocate, encouraging young people to get into engineering,” Savage said. “She was a top-notch engineer and science communicator. I thought she was an amazing person.”