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TEDx Adventure: Jungle Panama After Action Report

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Seventy plus social change entrepreneurs, TEDx organizers, creatives and craftsman descended on Kalu Yala, a project in a remote area of Panama for the TEDx Jungle adventure. Tactivate focused on imparting the notions of situational awareness and how to respond, not react to high-stress scenarios.

Whether for the film-makers and journalists that traveled to hostile environments or for the business leaders that were in attendance at the workshops, the concepts of preparedness, resiliency and awareness taught by Tactivate’s Special Operations personal were relevant.

Our Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) instructor focused on the importance of being conscious of your surroundings, how to move in unfamiliar territory, what you do, how others perceive you and how to blend in when it is important to do so. These concepts fall under the auspicious of “situational awareness.” Whether traveling in a foreign country or entering into a tense negotiation, these skills are applicable.

The lessons were taught using survival skills as a medium to convey these principals. Having a frame of reference and a check-list of how to think about how to handle a tough situation – be it in the wilderness or in the boardroom is a powerful tool for success. Participants came away with not only knowing how to build an emergency shelter but with a contextual frame of reference of how building a “strong foundation or shelter” sets you up for success.

Our Pararescue instructors taught basic emergency medicine procedures on how to treat a life threatening wound. Like when a business is hemorrhaging cash, when someone is hemorrhaging from an injury the most critical function is to plug the leak. The medical section of the workshop in Panama was designed to subtly convey the importance of keeping calm and responding as apposed to being a frantic victim that reacts to a tense situation instead of responds. Armed with basic, but powerful medical skills, participants left with the knowledge of How to approach a serious medical injury and how to apply those same skills to fixing a critical challenge in their respective businesses or initiatives.

The interactions between Tactivate’s current and former Special Operations personal and the various entrepreneurs present at the event proved to be fruitful for both parties. The veterans came away with an increased understanding of how their skills and experiences are applicable in the private sector, and the civilian business leaders gained insight into how veterans can be tremendous assets in the private sector.

Thank you to the entire Tactivate team and to the organizers of TEDx Jungle Adventure and the Kalu Yala crew. A Special thanks to Tactivate’s friends, Goal Zero for going so far above and beyond in providing Kalu Yala and the TEDx team with solar gear to bring light and power to the jungle for the event.

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