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Speaker Spotlight: Chantelle Rytter

Chantelle Rytter founded the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade in 2010, along with the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons.

Is this your first time speaking at a TEDx event? What are your thoughts on presenting on October 17?
Yes, it is my first time! I think it is a terrific gift to speak at TEDx, and it happens to fall on my birthday.

August 2014 Lantern making workshop at Lantern House

August 2014 Lantern making workshop at Lantern House

Our theme this year implies the discovery of something that is before unseen. Tell us about a pure, unexpected change in your life that was the illumination of a revelation.
10,000 people showed up for the BeltLine Lantern Parade last year! Up from 1250! I didn’t believe that until I saw the video. I have always felt that there is a universal desire for creative play. I am now certain.

At the end of the day, what is it about your work that keeps you going?
I am honored to do my work. I love it. At the end of the day, I kick back in my hammock and beam gratitude. I wrote a little song I sing then:
When its 5:55, then you know you’ve arrived,
Your good work is done and it’s lookin’ so fine.
Time to crack a beer and look at the sky
Oh my, it’s 5:55!

(There’s 2:22, 3:33, and 4:44 verses, too. I don’t have a set schedule.)

What is your passion?
Art + civic kinship.

What keeps you centered in this crazy world?
Love. My friends, my family, my art, my bicycle, and my cat.

What is your motto?
To work is human, to play is divine.

What are three words to best describe you?
More Play Time

Posted in General, Speakers, TEDx0 Comments

TEDxPeachtree: An Eye-Opening, Unforgettable Experience

What is TEDxPeachtree? What is TED?

A year ago, I had no idea what TED was or what it was about, nor did I know the existence of TEDxPeachtree. I was invited to step in as an interim Content Editor for the weekly blog posts on TEDxPeachtree by a dear friend, Wendy Ho.

She explained to me what TED was and introduced me to TEDxPeachtree. I Googled TED and learned more about ideas worth spreading. Admittedly, I had no idea such an awesome concept existed. I quickly got acquainted with TED Talks and was eager to be a part of the TEDxPeachtree team, made up of all volunteers.

It was exciting to learn more about TEDxPeachtree and TED through our writers while editing the weekly blog posts. I was exposed to many inspiring and wonderful TEDx and TED Talks. Working alongside the TEDxPeachtree team and being the Content Editor, I was able to learn about and meet each of the 2013 speakers before the event. This made my first TEDx experience very special and I treasure it greatly.

Thanks to Wendy Ho and the TEDxPeachtree organizers for this valuable, eye-opening, unforgettable experience. Not only did I work with great people, but I made some meaningful friendships. I truly feel like I am a part of something greater.

As I step back this year, I would like to part with this inspiring presentation by Rashid Nuri, a speaker from the 2013 TEDxPeachtree. Looking forward to discovering what illuminates us in October 2014!

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Pek Suan Yew-Wyland enjoyed her role as the Content Editor in 2013 TEDxPeachtree, and wishes the best to the 2014 team!

Posted in General, Speakers, TED, TEDx, Volunteers0 Comments

Why You Will Fail

You will fail, not because of what you will choose to do, but because of what you will choose not to do.

The time we live in now calls heavily on the need to draw on inspiration to achieve our minds’ idea of greatness. Yet, as University of Waterloo’s Professor of Economics Larry Smith brilliantly argues in a talk he gave at TEDxUW, this is just simply not enough. “It doesn’t matter how many times you download Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address, you still decide not to do it!”

I appreciate Larry Smith’s brutally honest reflection on the follies of fearful stagnation and the nonsensical excuses that accompany them. He humorously digs to uncover each and every excuse, plucking each to the surface for full observational review, battling each one with charming wit and humor.

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The world will indeed give you the opportunity to work hard, but in sight of what and for whom? I often re-watch this talk to remind me of the importance of having a true passion and vision and to focus on pursuing that vision as a real means to a greater overall happiness. This is a reason to work really hard.

This is a way not to fail, but to illuminate success.


Nicole Smith



Nicole Smith is a Marketing Analyst and Consultant for companies such as The Coca-Cola Company and Intercontinental Hotels Group. She lives in Midtown where she loves to hang out with both the tech and art communities.

Posted in General, TED, TEDx0 Comments

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