Ideas barreling toward Houston
Are you ready for TED's offspring?
Attention idea lovers, the TEDx program from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) as in Ideas Worth Spreading, is coming to Houston. TEDx Houston 2010 goes down June 12 at the University of Houston's Wortham Theatre, featuring some of the brightest minds the city has to offer.
Organized by a team of creative professionals, this is Houston's first independent TEDx event.
So far, four speakers have been announced: Gracie Cavnar, president and CEO of Recipe for Success, Cary Wolfe, professor of English at Rice University, Brene Brown, professor at University of Houston and Dan Phillips of The Phoenix Commotion. Two Star Symphony will also be performing.
TED started in 1984 as a way to bring great minds from technology, design and entertainment together in a single conference. They have since broadened their scope; now you can find neuroscientists along with innovators in education and artists. Curated by Chris Anderson, TED is now completely accessible online. Watch Al Gore, Bill Gates, or Douglas Adams at any moment.
The format maximizes exposure to many bright minds in snappy short lectures. "I think the 18-minute format is brilliant — and a little terrifying. It forces the speakers to get very clear and focused, and it's just the right amount of information for the audience," says Brown, who has spent the last decade studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions: How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?
"The minute I read the conference theme — Expanding Perceptions — I knew that I wanted to talk about why we need to change our perceptions of vulnerability if we want to experience more joy and meaning in our lives," Brown says.
As someone who considers ideas a food group, I am mighty excited about this event. Turns out, Houston is full of TEDsters, including Javier Fadul, VP of Culture Pilot, who spearheaded the effort to get TEDx to Houston. Fadul fell under the spell of TED two years ago when his brother sent him a link.
"I was hooked," Fadul says. "There was something about asking broad questions that struck a nerve. I watched a talk at night for the longest time. TED does what the traditional media has failed to do."
Fadul attended a satellite TED conference, learning the ropes of starting a regional offshoot. TEDx programs are happening all over the states now but each city has their own approach. "TEDx Houston showcases people in our own community," Fadul says. "We want to make people aware of the amazing talents we have right here in Houston."
Follow TEDx on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or sign-up the old fashioned way to get e-mail notices on the next announced speaker. Houston TEDx organizers are aiming for 12-15 carefully-selected speakers.
If you wish to attend you must also apply. Yes, you heard me correctly, this is a curated audience.
"We want people there who are truly interested in the power of ideas, who are passionate about the community," Fadul says. "This is the best way to create a sense of unity."