TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events.TED.com
It all came about in pretty short order. I think I found out about TEDxHuntsville on Wednesday night, probably through a LinkedIn post. So what did I do... I tweeted it of course!The event was this past Sunday at Cre8ive Partners in downtown Huntsville. Their offices were Awesome! Exposed brickwork and rafters with a huge glass top over former mortise and tenon beamwork for a conference table. Wow... just wow!
Of course, I've known about TED for quite a while and the opportunity to attend even a similar event here locally was enough to hook me. I checked out the TEDxHuntsville website and honestly, found it a bit vague and not really clear about what to expect. Undeterred, I registered and hoped for the best. After all, the price was right... free!
So Apparently Tweeting Pays-off
Promptly upon arriving, I was greeted at the door by Everett Alexander, our host for the afternoon. A quick stop at the registration table and a dabble on my "Hello, my name is..." name tag and I'm set!
The room was small and already pretty full when I got there but I was still able to make out a number of familiar faces. We were underway on time with an introduction by Everett. As he was wrapping up, he asked how we found out about the event. CLEARLY, the majority of the room are Twitterholics. In fact, it may have even been this tweet that got the ball rolling?
Yeah, Yeah... So What Went on?
Well, after we were all sworn into the super secret club... wait... wrong meeting, sorry! Actually, it was pretty good. With the assistance of the good folks from TED, Everett had put together a selection of seven TEDTalk videos (see links below). We watched four, discussed, took a break, watched three, discussed and wrapped it up. Several of the videos I'd seen before but it was even better watching them with a group. The discussion that ensued after the vids was GREAT!
As things were drawing to a close, Everett asked if we liked it and would like to see a larger event here soon. Of course everyone (at least it looked like everyone to me) agreed and so, I suppose, planning should begin soon for the next TEDxHuntsville event.
Which TEDTalk Videos Did You Watch?
Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's a list complete with links. Enjoy!
Michael Pritchard with his Lifesaver Bottle, self-contained water purification.
Kamal Meattle on creating air with plants.
William Kamkwamba on thinking and doing... and windmills. (good one).
Rives on 4:00am (pretty funny)
Aimee Mullins on perceptions, beauty, and augmentation.
Ken Robinson on creativity and education (best of the bunch. If you only watch one, watch this one)
So What's Next
Well, frankly, I'm not sure. I expect to hear from Everett again soon and that at some point in the future we'll hear more about TEDxHuntsville. Perhaps they will take the form of monthly or quarterly video watching events, maybe we'll get to have a live event. Who knows at this point.
If you're interested in keeping up with upcoming TEDxHuntsville information, be sure to check out the website, subscribe to the RSS feed, or just keep an ear to the rail here at jtrigsby.com. I'll have as much information available for you as I can get my hands on!