For those not familiar with TED, it's an annual conference held in California each year since 1984. Speakers are challenged to give the talk of their lives about their passion, but with a catch: they have to do it in 18 minutes or less. Originally setup to bring together people from the worlds of technology, education and design its scope has grown significantly. Now, attendees will hear talks from Bill Gates about what the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is doing to eradicate malaria in the third world, Jane Goodall speaking about her work with apes or Al Gore discussing climate change.
In 2005, TED started putting videos of these talks online free for viewing to the world. You can follow the link above, but it's recommended you set aside a bit of time...they're addicting and one talk will lead to dozens more very quickly!
In 2009, TED opened up their program to allow local communities to host their own, independently organized TED-like events. As a long-time TED fan, I jumped at the opportunity to bring this program to Rochester.
In November of 2009, we held our first TEDxRochester event at the Geva Theater. We had speakers from RIT, UofR, local activists and artists fill the day with amazing ideas and passion. Our second event was held last November, again at the Geva and was even bigger and better than the first! You can find links to all of the talks from previous years at our site linked above.
We're doing it all again this year on November 7th. It's a free event, we even feed you, so if you can take the day off (it's a Monday), we'd love to see you there. Registration will open up as we get closer to the event, so visit our site and watch for updates!
We set our goals originally to showcase what Rochester means as a community and what we bring to the world at large. As all of the members of our organizational team are transplants to Rochester, we've actually become a bit discouraged with the feelings native Rochesterians have for this wonderful community. So, we're looking to expand to show Rochesterians what Rochester is all about, and why it's a great place to live.
As a final thought, if you know anyone who would be a dynamic presenter, feel free to drop me a private line. We'd love to get local community activists and give them the opportunity to take the stage at this fantastic event.