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Buildings that Breathe in the Heat

Buildings that Breathe in the Heat

If you’ve been in Atlanta the last several days, you’ll “feel the heat” that’s been radiating through our streets as the temperature has risen to almost 100 degrees. This heat affects people in different ways. For some, it’s an opportunity to find a body of water or pool as we enter summer. For others, we crank up the air conditioning in our offices and homes. In buildings that use natural light, this requires a lot of energy and cost. As we think about the environment, we have questions about how to ethically and responsibly cool our buildings.

In this talk from TEDxUSC, Doris Kim Sung, a “biology student turned architect” explains how by engineering thermo-bimetal that functions like human skin, we can create structures that provide shade and self-ventilate, essentially creating a metal that “breathes.” Sung shares about the creative ways architects are thinking about modern buildings to more efficiently and effectively serve us.

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The Ripple Effect of Violence

The Ripple Effect of Violence

Gary Haugen has seen poverty- from investigating the Rwandan genocide to working with widows in Zambia, he has seen and heard countless stories of poverty and compassion.

In the past 35 years, the number of people in the world living in extreme poverty has decreased from 50% to 15%. But what seems to be an extreme amount of success has not had the effect that we might hope.

According to Haugen, the way to create a massive ripple effect that will eventually shatter the cause of global poverty can happen by addressing one thing: violence.

Watch Gary’s talk below and see how we can move from creating anti-poverty programs to actually ending poverty worldwide.


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TEDxPeachtree Salutes 2012 Speaker

TEDxPeachtree Salutes 2012 Speaker

For National Poetry Month, we celebrate TEDxPeachtree 2012 speaker Ayoka Chenzira who will receive the Legacy of Leadership Award from Spelman College at the National Women of Color Conference this year. This conference recognizes dynamic women who are visionaries leading in the field of technology.

Chenzira is an educator and international award-winning video artist. She is one of the first African Americans to teach film production in higher education. A pioneer in Black independent cinema, Chenzira is one of the first African-American women to write, produce and direct a 35mm feature film, “Alma’s Rainbow,” one of Billboard Magazine’s top 40 home video rentals. She is also noted as the first African-American woman animator.

Chenzira has worked and lectured extensively on film throughout the United States, South America, and Europe; traversing the African continent collecting oral narratives from women, as well as training and mentoring emerging filmmakers. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including a Sony Innovator Award for her early work with converging film, video and computer animation.

In 2002, she was honored with the Trailblazer Award from Atlanta’s Black Women’s Film Preservation Society. Chenzira became the first African-American professor to receive a Distinguished Educator Award from technology giant and innovator Apple for her work with storytelling and digital technology in 2003.

Other speakers we are always excited about are Ayodele Heath from the 2014 TEDxPeachtree Salon and Rachel Pendergrass from 2013.

Be sure to check out our playlist and information for them below.

Ayoka Chenzira:

Ayodele Heath:





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Is Poetry Still Relevant Today?

Is Poetry Still Relevant Today?

Did you know that National Poetry Month is celebrated each year in April? Inspired by Black History Month and Women’s History Month, it was created to increase awareness and appreciation for the art form.  Since 1996, it is the largest event in the world for poets who are on the pulse of modern culture.


The TEDxPeachtree stage has had its fair share of poets over our seven-year history but before we introduce you to them, and if you’re not convinced that poetry is vital to our lives, here’s a persuasive talk given at TED2013 by Stephen Burt on why we need poetry. Being a “word person” Burt was always on the hunt for answers to his “how” and his “why?”  He says we need poetry because it helps us to celebrate, to live and to say goodbye when we need to and that it provides an inner strength we would not be able to perceive on our own. Do you agree?


Local poet and executive officer of the Dragon Con science track Rachel Pendergrass wrote a wonderful sonnet to sum up TEDxPeachtree 2013. Watch if you missed that edition or relive it through her words.

In 2011, Daniel Weingarten shares his love for poetry by explaining how his life we all shape our life experiences with the art form.  He reminds us that innovation includes us all — writers, artists, speakers.  No matter what we touch or where our words go, we are bound to shed light.



Finally, just last year, we welcomed a most unusual poet to our stage. M. Ayodele Heath is an accomplished poet but he also wanted to share in the creative process with others and so he created a vehicle called Electronic Corpse which uses Facebook as a platform to allow people all over the world to contribute to a poem in progress one line at a time. Watch his fascinating illustration of how a poem unfolds.




Poets help us gain perspective and categorize our emotions creatively.  It unleashes unconscious connections within our thinking.  Poetry is needed in the creative space because oftentimes we need those barriers to come down before anything else can take place.


We have a call for speakers out now for those who can give us the same introspective views for 2015.   We are looking for storytellers regardless of forms of expressions: poem, dance, beatboxing, rapping, performance art, etc. who can strengthen the landscape of communicators, creating a “Ripple” effect and contributing to a community of thinkers.  

Kelly Raye DawkinsKelly Raye is an Author, TransMEDIA and PR Professional. In 2008, her book “A Divine Revelation of Hip Hop” was featured in the New Author Showcase at the London Book Fair.  She loves to read, write, meet new people and travel.



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