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TEDxPeachtree 2014 Illuminate Line-Up

TEDxPeachtree 2014 Illuminate Line-Up

We hope you’ve enjoyed “meeting” our speakers over the last couple of months as we’ve counted down to TEDxPeachtree 2014. In case you’ve missed any of our introductions, it’s not too late to check out this year’s presenting team.  Here are 140 characters to share why I’m over the moon about these speakers and how their ideas will illuminate Atlanta this Friday.


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Your turn! Give us 140 characters about why you’re excited to be there. Follow @TEDxPeachtree and send out some love and encouragement to our speakers!



Nia_Baker_BioPicNia Baker has been thrilled to serve as the TEDxPeachtree Content Manager this year. She has had roots in Atlanta almost ten years, the longest she’s lived anywhere, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last five, focusing on effective systems and creative communication. She will complete her Masters in Professional Counseling and Trauma Specialization this spring and believes in the dignity of each experience. Nia enjoys running past Atlanta street art, steaming French press coffee, and a really effective adjective.



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What Makes a TED Speaker?

What makes a TED speaker special? Anyone can give a speech. But when you are able to speak passionately about something that you have created and that has made a positive impact on our world, and with that speech inspire others to impact their communities for the better, then you are at the TED level.

The common threads that are woven through all of these speakers are the willingness to give freely of their knowledge, authenticity, and outgoing personalities.

They have ideas worth spreading. Not selling, but spreading. Sharing far and wide. Because they can make an impact. Yes, they can even illuminate.

Ideas that resonate most with audiences are those that propose answers to the questions that plague so many of us. Here are a few of the ones that most stand out in my eyes:

Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on creating more nurturing educational systems has more than 28 million views and is one of the most popular talks of all times. His combination of humorous anecdotes, acerbic wit, and scientifically proven facts engage and entertain audiences. While we grapple with trying to win the educational race to the top, we must ask ourselves: Are we training our racers to use their strongest talents? The ability to share knowledge without preaching is an attribute that is crucial to all TED speakers and one that Robinson has in abundance. 

Dan Habib’s TEDxAmoskeagMillyard talk examined the trailblazing concept of having everyone in our communities included in our communities. Habib’s story of the support his son, who was born with a disability, received from their town of Concord, New Hampshire proves that the answer to many of our problems can be found from being open-minded. His theme of advocating for inclusion supports the idea that diversity is natural and should be embraced. Habib’s authenticity comes from his observations of what is possible and what has been done. The credibility and purity of TED talks like his makes them both instantly memorable and fascinating.

Anyone who describes herself as “Shakira meets Muhammad Ali” has to be the life of the party; TEDWomen 2013 speaker Maysoon Zayid  is just that. Smart, beautiful and self -deprecating, she draws the audience in with her wit and candor. Zayid’s gregarious personality serves her well in connecting with her audience and lighting up the stage in a way that only a talented few can.

Enamored by the abilities of these speakers to excite audiences? Would you like to experience it firsthand here in Atlanta? Come see the talented men and women selected this year to bring these same gifts to the stage of TEDxPeachtree 2014. Don’t miss your opportunity to be illuminated. Buy your tickets today.


M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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From Around the World They Will Come – TEDGlobal 2014 South!

From Around the World They Will Come – TEDGlobal 2014 South!


What is a Techno-Sociologist? How far has photographer Jimmy Nelson (follow on Twitter) traveled to take pictures of vanishing native tribes?How can we shrink the vastness of the digital divide for people who cannot access technology due to economics or geography? These are just a few of the questions one might have after seeing the line up of leaders and pioneers for TEDGlobal 2014 South! in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This five day celebration showcases men and women who are making sure we preserve the past, changing how we resolve conflict, and who make art and dance look easy.

Audiences will be presented with twelve segments entitled Stories, Digital Reboot, Crossing Boarders, Field Work, Urban Canvas, Empowering Tech, Blueprints, Lenses, Basic Needs, Lateral Action, Mighty Spaces and Fighters. Each session’s theme embodies the talents and talks of the speakers presented in them. The internationally curated groups represent the dynamic talent from around the world who are changing our world.

Amazonian ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin’s work communicates the value plants native to the ever-disappearing rainforests for the medicinal world. The field of ethnobotany studies how cultures use and perceive plants as medicines, rituals and as other elements of daily living. Plotkin’s studies of native plant-based therapies and their application in fighting present day illnesses have made the medical community take notice of why the Amazon must be saved.

From the same part of the glove comes one of the most intriguing speakers of TEDGlobal 2014, Tashka Yawanawa (follow on Twitter). Chief of Brazil’s Yawanawa tribe who was raised in the tribes village and educated in the United States, he fights to preserve the past in the ever advancing present. His leadership and voice for Brazil’s native tribes has been missing in the conversation of securing the rich history of this South American country.

These men, along with 64 other artists, scientists, educators, researchers and visionaries, will gather together for one week to share their ideas. If you are unable to get your passport stamped and fly off to Rio, you can always soak up all of that amazing TED energy online. Get your fix and learn about the international TEDGlobal line up of speakers at the TEDGlobal’s speaker page

M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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