Explorers, storytellers, revolutionary thinkers
coming to TEDxSMU Oct. 19

TEDxSMU is back for a fifth year Oct. 19, dedicated to ideas worth spreading.


DALLAS (SMU) – TEDxSMU, the day-long event dedicated to ideas worth spreading, is back for a fifth year Saturday, Oct. 19, with speakers and performers ready to explore an array of ideas – from a technology circus, to the mysteries of science, to poignant stories of rescue and redemption.

TEDxSMU logo
Sample ideas from the past play video

Returning to City Performance Hall, the program begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m., with a light breakfast, lunch and plenty of breaks for conversation included.  Admission also includes access to the great conversations that happen between speakers and attendees at the  “after party.”

This year, the TEDxSMU crew is asking speakers and audience members to consider the big question, “What’s next?” in the context of a digitized, often divided world.  The theme for 2013, “&THEN…” is a challenge to ask bigger questions and dig deeper for answers.

“When we started planning speakers for this year, so many wonderful things fell into place,” said TEDxSMU Director Heather Hankamer.  “We have dreamers and educators who are going to take us from middle school to a new model of urban colleges.  Our lineup of scientists will lift the lid on global health, robotics, cyber security and jet propulsion.  And our explorers will take us from geothermal wells in Peru to the summit of Mount Everest.  What a roller-coaster!”

This year’s attendees also will get an insider’s look at global issues through the eyes of a journalist and former U.S. State Department speech writer whose sights are trained on Burma, and from a recently retired U.S. Navy admiral who was on the front lines for Navy relief work in Japan after the 2011 tsunami.

Speakers confirmed for TEDxSMU are:

Dr. Judith Allen, Psy.D.
Education innovator
Dallas Communities in Schools, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Dr. Kenneth Berry
Robot expert
Assistant Director of the Science and Engineering Education Center, UT Dallas

Dr. Eric G. Bing
Visionary global health researcher
Bush Institute Director of Global Health; SMU professor

Dr. Fred Chang
International cyber security expert

Rachael Chong
Visionary in the field of giving
Catchafire founder and CEO

Dan Goods
Master visual communicator
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Visual Strategist

Devonric Johnson
Actor, athlete, SMU alumnus and mentor
Brothers by Choice, founder

Afshan Khan
Passionate advocate for women
President and Chief Executive Officer, Women for Women International

Dave Lieber
Humorist, storyteller and award-winning columnist
The Dallas Morning News

Pamela Nelson
Full-time care partner
Dallas Artist and Art Advocate

Biff F. Palmer, M.D.
Professor, physician: has conquered the world’s seven highest summits
Professor of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Rena Pederson
Journalist, author and foreign relations guru
Former speechwriter, U.S. Department of State

Vanessa Ramirez
Education game changer and champion of teachers and students
Director, KIPP Alumni Association, KIPP Houston Public Schools

Andres Ruzo
Geothermal scientist and science communicator
Ph.D. Candidate, SMU Geothermal Lab; National Geographic Young Explorer

LyAnna Johnson Smith
Former politico and foster parent
Graduate Student, Perkins School of Theology at SMU

Michael J. Sorrell
Revolutionary college president and architect of the new urban college model
President, Paul Quinn College

Katie Spotz
Adventurer, clean water champion
Founder, Row for Water

Nicole Stewart
Dallas arts leader, actress and master storyteller
Founder, Oral Fixation

Dr. Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D.
Neuroscience researcher and sleep gene genius
Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, HHMI, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Two Bit Circus
Artisanal engineering for amusement and education
Brent Bushnell & Eric Gradman

Patrick M. Walsh
Former Blue Angel pilot and four-star Admiral U.S. Navy (Ret.)
President, Strategic Programs at Academic Partnerships

DaVerse Lounge
Spoken word poetry

The University of Texas at Austin Musical Theatre Ambassadors
Musical theatre performance

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Bringing together ideas and interesting people from around the world and around the corner, TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU are single-day conferences in Dallas, TX and is now in its fifth year.

TEDxKids @SMU (the first TEDx event designed for students) hosts 450 middle school students for a free four-hour conference in exchange for completing four hours of community service. TEDxKids @SMU is scheduled for October 18 at City Performance Hall.

TEDxSMU programming ranges from personal discussions of physical and mental journeys to demonstrations of high-tech gadgetry and inspirational musical performances. Great visuals are the common denominator. Modeled on the TED (Technology, Engineering and Design) conference mounted annually in Long Beach, Cal., TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

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 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, Cal. (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; 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 TED Fellows 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.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED