This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Geek stereotypes and a misunderstanding of what engineers really do has contributed to the very real, world-wide shortage of engineers. Engineer Patricia Galloway shares the list of the world's most serious challenges, poses that engineers are the best qualified to fix them, and shares how the media and changing public perception might be good for the engineering profession and even better for the world.

Did you ever have a dream that was so far from your reality that you never thought it would come true? Patricia Galloway did. Because she came from an impoverished part of the country and a very poor family, she never believed her dreams could ever come true. When she got depressed, her mother would always say, “You can do anything if you really want to. Don’t let anyone tell you no!” She kept repeating that phrase, and so with full confidence that she could do anything, Patricia conquered the world in ways she could have never imagined.

Her fairy tale story came true—so much so that she has sat around the table with presidents and dignitaries, traveled around all seven continents, and climbed up the ladders of success by shattering the glass ceiling. Her adventure stories will excite you, make you laugh and might even make you cry, but hopefully they will reinforce how important it is to communicate to others what it is you want to do, stay committed to your goals and have the confidence that you can do anything. The ending to the fairy tale story of the little girl is that when she grows up she never wants to go to sleep, because her reality is finally more exciting than her dreams.

The “Game Changer” Patricia most admires is Elon Musk, because he has dreamed and done the impossible. His ingenuity, confidence and the willpower to believe he could do anything defied those who told him “no” and made private space travel and fast “cool” electric cars a reality.

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Favorite TED Talk is: “Crowdsourcing on Steroids, Hyperloop”: Marco Villa, November 2013.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)