The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonderers. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…..HOWEVER, this week Jake Hodesh, Creative Coast’s executive director, is jumping to the front of the line with his own blog. Read on forJake’s take on TEDx Savannah-style….
On May 18, Savannah will host its third annual TEDx Conference. That’s pretty exciting news when you view the history of TED and think about other host cities that wave the flag as leaders of hip. It says a lot about our own community.
The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference was started in 1984. The original vision for the event was to provide a stage for world class presentations, and to attract high-power, high-dollar, executives and world leaders as attendees. The goal was for the concise (18 minutes or less) presentations, focused around science, social movements, community engagement and the arts, to challenge the power hungry attendees. These attendees would return to their corporate structures, municipalities, or foreign nations enlightened, engaged, or empowered to challenge their contemporaries and the ripple effect would be social change for the better around the globe.
Beginning in June of 2006, something else, different from what was originally expected, happened. With the advent of online video channels, YOUTUBE in particular, TED videos from what are now considered the archives of the 1980s have gone viral.
At the time, the talks were offered for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through TED.com, and by June of last year, the videos had been viewed more than 500 million times. That is right: 500,000,000.
Some of you reading this article might have watched TED Talks on NETFLIX or the Science Channel. The Talks, once reserved for only high-paying high-power attendees, have become material for the masses. Now, anyone with access to the web can tune in at any time and be empowered.
A few years back, TED organizers realized they had struck a chord with the world. They watched the number of views that certain videos on YOUTUBE received. They realized their best attempt at changing the world was in the hands of the masses and not necessarily in the hands of their invitation-only attendees.
TED organizers, in response to their worldwide citizenry, decided to offer thousands of videos, available around the clock, for free. Watch what you wish. Comment. Become engaged. People of the world responded, chat rooms, cubicles, inboxes and coffee shops were aflutter.
Not a week goes by when I don’t receive an email with a link to a TED talk, and the same can be said for weekly conversations that I have when a TED talk is referenced.
The TED organizers went one step further in 2009. They began allowing localized, organized versions of the acclaimed VIP-only main events. They created the moniker TEDx, and began issuing licenses around the globe. With the approved license came strict guidelines and rules to follow. TEDxNewYorkCity, TEDxLA, TEDxSeattle, and the like began launching local conferences with vigor.
Four years ago, Frank Spencer, a Savannah-based futurist, and a band of cohorts received the license for TEDxCreativeCoast. Year one (2010) was a success, year two (2011) pushed the boundaries even further, and on May 18, 2012, the Jepson Center will play host to the 3rd Annual TEDxCreativeCoast.
Savannah’s local TEDx has proven to be successful and quite popular. TEDx offers a day long opportunity to be inspired, moved, engaged and challenged. By the end of the day, your intellectual appetite will for sure be satiated.
If you are interested in attending, I encourage you to find a ticket now as this year’s conference has nearly sold out; otherwise, join the rest of the world and tune in online for free. A total of 14 guest speakers will fill the day with fast-paced and thought-provoking presentations ranging 8 to 12 minutes in length. TEDxCreativeCoast 2012 guest speakers include:
- Andrew Davies, creative director for Paragon Design Group
- Beth Mount, artist and founder of Graphic Futures and Capacity Works
(New York City)
- Catherine Compton, co-founder of Slow Food Savannah
- Christopher Plummer, designer, fabricator and owner of Bastille Metal Works
- David Pleasant, master percussionist and founder of Riddimathon!, Inc.
(New York City)
- Enoch Hendry, minister of Trinity United Methodist Church
- Carlos Santamarina, professor of engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology
- Jaime McGrath, educator, Gould Elementary School
- Kevin Lawver, programmer and web developer with Railsmachine
- Kevin Klinkenberg, architect and urban designer with Olsson Associates
- Mark Finnern, founder and host of the Future Salon and Chief Community Evangelist at SAP Labs Inc.
- Nikki Kaia Lee, student and aspiring fashion designer
(Savannah Arts Academy)
- Tom Hardy, founder of Verbal-Visual Framework and adjunct professor of design management at SCAD
- Zhenjie Dong, photographer, artist and graduate student
(Savannah / China)
It’s going to be awesome!