2009 Archives

What will change everything?

TEDxSMU asks the big questions

TEDxSMU logoThe TEDx experience arrives at SMU Oct. 9-10 for more than 300 children and even more adult community members in two events featuring high octane, brain-teasing presentations by global thought leaders. TEDxKIDS and TEDxSMU will both focus on the provocative question, “What Will Change Everything?”

Speakers and performers ranging from an ocean explorer, a child musical prodigy, a young man who brought electricity to his African village when he was 14, singers, scientists, and a slam poet will be featured at both events, which are open only to pre-registered individuals. Both TEDxKIDS on Friday, Oct. 9, and TEDxSMU on Saturday, Oct. 10, will follow the lightning-fast, stimulating format that attracts people like Al Gore and Bill Gates to the annual TED event in Long Beach, Calif.

Watch the video at www.tedxsmu.com for an example of how TED speakers grab their audiences. What began in 1984 as a conference bringing people together from technology, entertainment and design professions has grown into what the organizers refer to as an  “intellectual circus” with a passionate online following.

TED organizers, a nonprofit group, are now letting their platform for “ideas worth spreading” travel to licensed TEDx events in the U.S. and around the world through independently organized events licensed by TED. The children’s event at SMU, TEDxKIDS, is the first of its kind and will bring together seventh, eighth and ninth grade students invited from Dallas-Fort Worth schools from noon to 5 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Friday, Oct. 9.  TEDxSMU will bring adults who were selected from hundreds of applicants for an all-day session at Caruth Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Co-chairs for the TEDxSMU events are Geoffrey Orsak, dean of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering  and Jim Young, Chairman of Teleportec. Orsak, who has developed national education programs to interest U.S. schoolchildren in math and science careers, was determined to share the TED experience with students after he returned from a TED event last year.

“We tend to forget that our kids have a stake in the big decisions that are being made today,” Orsak said. “We have to find a new way to capture their imaginations while we engage them in serious ‘group think.’ TEDxKIDS has a magical combination - a really cool vibe, a look at the future, topped off with big provocative questions. I can't wait to see these rising stars catch fire.”

Admission to the children’s event is free, but participants have agreed to trade four hours of community service for admission to TEDxKIDS. Since the idea behind TEDxKIDS is that young people have a big stake in their own future, Orsak said the public service requirement would give participating students “skin in the game.”

A list of speakers for both events is available at www.tedxsmu.com.

About TED

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then, its scope has broadened to include science, business, the arts, and the global issues facing our world. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives -- in 18 minutes. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience -- CEOs, scientists, creatives, and philanthropists -- is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Nandan Nilekani, Jane Goodall, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.

TED was first held in Monterey, California, in 1984. In 2001, Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation acquired TED from its founder, Richard Saul Wurman. In recent years, TED has expanded to include an international conference, TEDGlobal; media initiatives, including TEDTalks andTED.com; and the TED Prize. TEDIndia will be held in Mysore, India, November 4-7, 2009. TED2010, “What the World Needs Now,” will be held February 9-13, 2010, in Long Beach, California, with a simulcast event in Palm Springs, California. For details on all upcoming conferences and events, visit www.TED.com.

About TEDx

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.



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