TEDxSMU and innovative ideas take center stage
at the Wyly Theatre on Dec. 3

The latest ideas from the world's most interesting people will be at TEDxSMU, with live streaming and free viewing parties.

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DALLAS (SMU) -- The latest ideas from interesting people around the world and around the corner again make their way to the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre when TEDxSMU hosts its third annual confab of “ideas worth spreading” on Saturday, December 3.

This year, presenters are talking and performing on a theme of "Disruption" from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event to be live-streamed at www.tedxsmu.org.

New to this year's TEDxSMU program are free, live remote viewing parties at three locations during the same hours. Food and drink will be available for purchase and participants can come and go as their schedule permits. Registration is required at txsviewing.eventbrite.com. The locations are:

  • Texas Theater in Oak Cliff (231 W. Jefferson Boulevard)
  • Tech Wildcatters in Uptown (2700 Fairmount Street)
  • AT&T Foundry in Plano (2900 W. Plano Parkway)

"The richness of TEDxSMU programming has grown exponentially since its inception three years ago, and we want to share with everyone the inspirational ideas that the audience at the Wyly Theatre experiences," said Sharon Lyle, director of TEDxSMU. "There's no reason to miss TEDxSMU this year with the free, live watching parties."

This year's lineup includes acclaimed Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb, Spanish artist Juame Plensa, global water management expert and pioneer Jeff Fulgham, architect Peter Brown, and postmodern cuisine chef Homaro Cantu, as well as winners of October's “Audience Choice” auditions. See the full speaker lineup below.

The “disruption” actually begins Dec. 2 with TEDxKids @SMU – the first TEDx event designed for students.  More than 300 pre-registered Dallas-area middle school students will converge on the Wyly Theatre from 12:30-5 p.m. for free, fast-paced fun in exchange for completing four hours of community service. Like TEDxSMU, the TEDxKids @SMU will be live-streamed for everyone at www.tedxsmu.org.

Shortly after the middle schoolers finish their event, TEDxSMU gets an early kick-off at Dallas Arts District's “Holiday in the District” Party Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. with the unveiling of “Transcendence,” an art installation by Dallas artist Shane Pennington.

Light BulbThe Pennington installation transforms a traditional Karesansui Japanese Rock Garden into a dialogue between the environment and humanity. The rock garden features larger-than-life human figures carved out of blocks of ice. Each sculpture will have a rock encased within its form. As the human ice form melts, the rock gently falls into the garden, reflecting a collision of pure materials, transformation of elements through space and time and broadened concept of self. Pennington’s sculpture was commissioned by TEDxSMU and the Dallas Arts District and underwritten by members of the Dallas community.

TEDxSMU attendees must apply and be selected in order to participate in the full-day conference at the Wyly Theatre. Licensed by the people who host the renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference annually in Long Beach, Calif., the TEDxSMU events are independently organized but follow the same format of lightning-fast talks on a central theme paired with compelling visuals.

TED events are held around the world, many of them live-streamed, addressing a wide range of topics related to science and culture.

TEDxSMU 2011 Speakers

Jaewon AhnCellist Jaewon spent the first twelve years of her life in Korea where she won several competitions, among them the prestigious Strad competition and was a member of the Cheon-An Youth Symphony Orchestra. In Canada she has had success in many competitions including first prize in the national round of the Canadian Music Competition last year (Strings 18 and under) and first prize four consecutive years in the provincial round of the Kiwanis Music Festival. Jaewon currently studies under the tutelage of renowned cellist Andres Diaz in the Artist Diploma program at Southern Methodist University.

Maya Ajmera
Maya is one of the world’s most eloquent voices for children’s rights globally as a social entrepreneur and celebrated children’s book author. She is the founder of The Global Fund for Children, a nonprofit organization that invests in innovative community-based organizations serving the most vulnerable children and youth of the world. GFC has awarded over $23 million in capital to nearly 500 grassroots organizations in 80 countries touching the lives of over one

million children. Maya’s books, including Children from Australia to ZimbabweFaith, and To Be a Kid, have earned her more than two million readers worldwide.

Belinda Baldwin
Belinda is a Dallas based audience development director for a diversified media group including television, web and mobile who believes in “The Power of You.” She teaches a graduate level advertising course at SMU and writes on the topic of media, popular culture and social change for a variety of magazines and journals including the Harvard Book ReviewThe Advocate, Documentary and MovieMaker. She holds a PhD from USC in Cinema-TV and is one of the October winners in the “Audience Choice” auditions.

Elise Ballard
Elise is an actress, independent filmmaker, author and the creator of EpiphanyChannel.com. She started her career in entertainment as an actress before moving into production work. Her critically acclaimed directorial debut, Lord of the Wiens: A Dachumentary, a movie about the annual Wiener Dog Races in Buda, TX, became a cult hit and still sells to lovely dachshund fans worldwide. Her first book, Epiphany, a collection of fascinating stories of people’s greatest epiphanies in life, was released by Random House/Crown Publishing’s Harmony Books in January 2011. She is currently in development on several book, film and television projects based on Epiphany.

José Bowen
José, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, has taught at Stanford and Georgetown, written over 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting, and appeared as a musician in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin and others. He has written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), written music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and his latest CD is Uncrowded Night. He is an editor for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology and is currently on the boards of the Journal for the Society for American MusicJazz Research Journal and the Library of Congress, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England.

Jasmin Brand
Jasmin is the chief marketing officer for Brandpointe, a company she launched in 2007 that specializes in connecting individuals and medium sized firms with e-learning and social media solutions. With an extensive background in marketing, sales and consumer engagement, Jasmin is passionate about creating and growing online communities and serves as a social media consultant, collaborating with for profit and nonprofit companies. A love of education and southern Dallas drew Jasmin to UNT Dallas, where in February 2011 she joined the Office of University Advancement and currently serves as director of campus and community engagement. Jasmin graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from SMU. She recently completed her Master’s in Education specializing in Adult Learning and won a spot in the October “Audience Choice” auditions with her description of “What Social Media and Ike Turner Have in Common.”

Brent Brown
Brent Brown is a Dallas architect who works daily to balance social, economic, and environmental issues by deploying design to enhance livability for all Dallas’ residents. Through his efforts Dallas is re-visioning how it lives, works and plays. In 2005, Mr. Brown founded the buildingcommunity WORKSHOP (bcWORKSHOP), a local nonprofit community design resource seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. He is also the Founding Director of the City of Dallas’ CityDesign Studio, stewarding the urban design vision for the city. By engaging residents, landowners, business owners, investors and community stakeholders, Brent deploys a community-led planning method building shared vision for the city’s future.

Peter Brown
Architect Peter Brown works on big ideas for large and small projects. He is principal of Peter Brown Architects, a design and strategy firm that collaborates with clients to transform the way people work, live, learn, create, and enjoy. At any given time you might find Peter in Florida, creating a middle school that moves as fast as students think, or in Germany, designing a chair that moves with your body. In Dallas, he may be on his way to meet with a fashion retailer to discuss innovation and collaboration in the creative workplace. If you live in Oak Cliff, your child could attend Brown-designed Hector Garcia Middle School, where every classroom overlooks the entire city of Dallas.

Kate Canales
Kate is a creative director at frog, a global design and innovation firm, where her work focuses on design research and creative infrastructure. Previous clients include the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Procter & Gamble, UNICEF, PepsiCo, Mattel, T-mobile, AT&T, MTV and the World Economic Forum. Kate is also a Senior Fellow in Design for Social Innovation at The University of Texas and the Dell Social Innovation Competition, where she is driving curriculum development for design as a component of social entrepreneurship. Kate is a regular contributor to The Atlantic Online and frog’s designmind blog and has written for GOOD Magazine online and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

Homaro Cantu
Chef Homaro Cantu is an internationally recognized chef and leader in the field of postmodern cuisine and an inventor of futuristic food delivery systems. Chef Cantu graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, developed his culinary skills along the West Coast and later as Sous Chef at Chicago’s Charlie Trotter’s restaurant. After leaving Charlie Trotter’s he concentrated on his concept of an experiential design based restaurant with a molecular gastronomy approach. Chicago’s notable Moto Restaurant puts Cantu’s concepts into practice by melding food with science, technology and art to create an unmatched dining experience. The New York Times described him as “a chef in the Buck Rogers tradition, blazing a trail to a space-age culinary frontier” and included one of his inventions among one of their best ideas of 2005.

Will Clarke
Will is the author of Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles and The Worthy from Simon & Schuster. Both novels were selected as The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and garnered Clarke the title “Hot Pop Prophet” by Rolling Stone Magazine. The Dallas resident also is executive creative director at The Integer Group. Will won one of the slots in the October “Audience Choice” auditions with his plea for re-shaping the sometimes violent transition from boy to man.

Scott Douglas
Scott is an SMU professor, researcher, educator-entrepreneur and jazz-lover whose lifelong passion is sound and music. He developed one of the first successful procedures for the active cancellation of sound in a room over 15 years ago. More recently, he developed mathematical techniques for picking out and recording individual voices in a crowd using several microphones in tandem. Educated at Stanford University as an electrical engineer, Scott co-authored the first engineering textbook for high school students for The Infinity Project, a national award-winning middle school, high school and early college engineering curricula. Scott has been featured in live and recorded radio and television shows including NPR and WFAA-TV. An avid singer and musician, Scott’s preferred instrument is the saxophone, and while he loves all forms of music, his favorite is jazz.

Juan Enriquez
Juan is a business leader, author, and academic who is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences.

He is a managing director in Excel Venture Management, a firm that invests in companies that apply transformative life science technologies to solve problems in healthcare and beyond. He was the founding director of Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project and founded Biotechonomy LLC, a life sciences research and investment firm, where he remains as chairman and CEO. In July of 2005, he co-founded Synthetic Genomics, Inc., a synthetic biology company focused on developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions for global energy, medicine, clean water, and food challenges.

Jeff Fulgham
Jeff has spent the last 30 years working to help solve the world’s energy and water crises’ and create a more sustainable future. He recently joined Banyan Water as chief sales, service, strategy and sustainability officer. Prior to this role, Jeff was the chief sustainability officer and ecomagination leader for GE Power & Water. Through his extensive background in addressing water challenges, he helps global customers build and execute thoughtful plans to reduce consumption, upcycle low quality water sources, aggressively improve overall water stewardship and re-think waste streams as valuable assets. Jeff is a salesman, marketer, strategic planner, technologist, thought leader and entrepreneur with a passion for proving that “Green is Green” – that doing what’s right for the environment is also economically smart.

Lisa Loeb
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb started her career with the platinum-selling No. 1 hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites and has parlayed that early success into a multi-dimensional career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work and children’s recordings. Her acclaimed studio releases include the Gold-selling Tails and its follow-up, the Grammy-nominated and Gold-selling Firecracker. A strong believer in the importance of helping others, Lisa created the Camp Lisa Foundation, which raises money to send children to experience summer camp who otherwise would not have the opportunity. Lisa released her first book with Sterling Publishing, Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs, in October 2011.

Jaume Plensa
Jaume, born in Barcelona, has been working internationally as an artist since 1980. A winner of both national and international awards, Plensa’s prolific work encapsulates themes of globalization and human presence. He has experimented with a number of different mediums such as steel, bronze, synthetic resins, light, alabaster, marble, sound, plastics and the use of animated features and LED lights, lending a vital visual element to his works. Jaume’s solo exhibitions at major international museums and prestigious public art projects have confirmed his status as one of the foremost contemporary sculptors. Plensa’s work Sho is featured prominently in the sculpture garden of the Meadows Museum at SMU and a large body of his work can be seen until January 2012 in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the United Kingdom.

Peter Thum
Peter is the founder of Fonderie 47, a company transforming perspectives and saving lives in Africa by disarming conflict zones and remaking the AK-47s it destroys into jewelry, watches and accessories. To date, Fonderie 47 has destroyed over 3,000 guns in DR Congo. As the founder and president of Ethos™ Water (acquired by Starbucks in 2005), Peter turned his idea of getting clean water to children into a successful social venture that changed an industry, generated millions of dollars, and improved hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. Peter led Ethos as an executive at Starbucks and a director of the Starbucks Foundation. Peter serves as a board member at USA for UNHCR, the Fund For Global Human Rights, the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, and Impossible to Possible Ultra Athletic Adventures.

Bruce Wood
A nationally acclaimed artistic director, performer and teacher, Bruce he has created more than 75 contemporary dance works over the past 15 years. His choreography is known for its poignant insights into present-day life charged with emotional undercurrents, rich imagery, a wide range of subject matter and audience appeal. At age 16, Wood left his native Fort Worth on a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet under the tutelage of the legendary George Balanchine. Among his performance credentials are New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz des Montreal, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Returning to Fort Worth in 1996, Wood founded and was sole choreographer of the Bruce Wood Dance Company until 2007. In 2010, Wood became Artistic Director of the Dallas-based Bruce Wood Dance Project



TEDxSMUMind-stretching programs that connect thought leaders, solution seekers and the merely curious to “why not?” challenges will return to the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre with TEDxKids @SMU on Dec. 2 and TEDxSMU on Dec. 3. The theme for TEDxSMU in 2011 will be disruption – a discussion of events, discoveries and how they impact us personally and as a community.

TEDxSMU is an all-day event for pre-registered participants, and the 2010 program ranged from personal discussions of physical and mental journeys to demonstrations of high-tech gadgetry. Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus used the Wyly Theatre as a teaching tool throughout the program, opening the moveable walls of the theatre he designed to the sights and sounds of downtown Dallas at the end of the day.

TEDxKids @SMU is a half-day program designed for middle school students who hear incredible speakers, experience hands-on demos and learn during interactive breaks. In 2010, 350 middle school students learned about evolution from a Canadian rapper, witnessed a breakthrough invention called the EyeWriter, and applauded for peer presenters who spoke about micro lending, politics and poetry. In exchange for free admission to TEDxKids @SMU, student attendees are required to complete a service project. Through projects at SMU, at school, and with local nonprofits, students who attended TEDxKids @SMU in 2010 have contributed more than 1,625 service hours to the community.

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.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.

TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.