TEDxPeachtree Welcomes Love Letter-ist Hannah Brencher

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TEDxPeachtree is thankful for the opportunity to showcase the incredible ideas of those who call Atlanta home.  Hannah Brencher, a TED speaker, recently joined the ranks of Atlantans and here’s a glimpse into our conversation when we we caught up with her the other day.

Tell us about your move here. Why Atlanta?

I honestly just think something is moving and shaking in Atlanta! I was craving connection with more entrepreneurial spirits and Atlanta seemed to be this hub for creativity and social good. So the second my lecture season wrapped, I packed up my car and made the 16 hour drive. Atlanta has certainly not disappointed! I’ve been meeting great minds and hearing great stories. I am excited for what’s to come and I really think my company is going to grow and evolve and reach new levels in this hub and city!

Our theme at TEDxPeachtree this year is “illuminate.” What does “illuminate” mean to you?

I love the word “illuminate” because it makes me think of being a light and how I think we are called to shed light on issues our world faces and problems that need to be solved. That is one of my favorite things about TED  it’s centered on the belief that some ideas are worth spreading. I think the ideas that have the most impact are the ones that shine light on a topic from a new angle or bring a solution to a problem out into the light.

If you could give TEDxPeachtree 2014 speakers one piece of advice, what would it be?

My most sacred piece of advice comes from another TED speaker whom I met through the 2012 Global Talent Search  Tania Luna. I remember I was so nervous to perform and didn’t even think I would make it on stage. After she spoke, she led me to a vacant stairwell and let me practice a few times in front of her. And she told me, with tears in both of our eyes, that this was my story.

That’s what I would tell the speakers this year. We want to see you succeed. There is a reason you’re on the stage. We want to hear your idea. And most of all, we want to know your story. There should never be any fear in sharing your story because not a single soul out there knows it better than you do.

Only 77 days till the event on October 17th, 2014. Check in next week as we unveil the first TEDxPeachtree 2014 speaker’s story. 

The early bird rate is up for tickets and there’s a limited number! Get your ticket to hear these powerful voices illuminate Atlanta.


TiffanyFarley2Writer and TED Speaker Hannah Brencher pins her passion to projects that  bring the human touch back into the digital age. Two years ago, at the age of 23, Hannah founded The World Needs More Love Letters — an internationally recognized organization that harnesses the power behind social media to mobilize and empower individuals through tangible acts of love. In two years, the global community has grown to over 20,000 individuals across six continents, 52 countries, all 50 states and over 100 college campuses. Named as one of the White House’s “Women Working to Do Good” and a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service,  Hannah and her work have been featured in outlets such as Oprah, the Huffington Post, TED.com, Glamour, BBC News, CNN World News, and the Wall Street Journal. Hannah recently sold her first book to Simon & Schuster. Her memoir, “If You Find This Letter,” will be in bookstores worldwide in March 2015.


Nia_Baker_BioPicNia Baker 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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Illuminating the Human Experience through Compassion

Krista Tippett illuminates our human experience in her TED talk, “Charter for Compassion” during which she takes us on a journey with her “linguistic resurrection” of the very word and what it truly means. To illustrate the road of the human experience, she offers us such compassionate (and flawed) characters as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Theresa, to name but a few.


We are brought to understand the enormous breadth of compassion as Tippett sheds light on the “universe of attendant virtues,” including, but by no means limited to, kindness, curiosity, empathy, reconciliation, presence, generosity, tolerance and story. It is bigger than each f these, and, unlike many emotions, compassion is visible; it changes what we think of as possible. And, as she points out, being flawed is no obstacle to being compassionate. Compassion is a bridge between science and religion, illuminating as a torch of understanding. Click below to hear the full talk.

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Tippett defines compassion as a “spiritual technology,” one as necessary today and in the future as all other technologies “that have now connected us and set before us the terrifying and wondrous possibility of actually becoming one human race.”  The opportunity to connect through this technology is available in our everyday interactions.

We invite you to reflect on what you may do to illuminate compassion this week. 


Melissa Galt_072213_0429



A success strategist, speaker, and author, Melissa Galt inspires, leads, and coaches entrepreneurs into achieving outrageous success and building an awesome life.





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Illuminating a New Frontier of Giving

“Optimism for me isn’t a passive expectation that things will get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better – that whatever suffering we see, no matter how bad it is, we can help people if we don’t lose hope and we don’t look away.” – Melinda Gates 

Child mortality rates, global contraception access, HIV/AIDS, the American education system…the daily work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is hardly a walk on the beach, but in 1993, a beach walk in Zanzibar is exactly what sparked America’s most generous foundation.

Writer Chris Anderson interviewed the power couple for TED in March of this year, and I found the video to be truly enlightening. My top three impressions:

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates are a shocking couple – shockingly smart, shockingly generous (they give away 95% of their wealth) and shockingly down to earth. This couple knows what works in global development and they are making epic changes in our world.
  2. Aid works – despite the recent negative press that global aid has gained, Bill and Melinda make a very convincing case that, while imperfect, aid is literally saving thousands of lives around the world every day. Can’t argue with that.
  3. Shocking generosity is contagious – When you hear of a couple giving away 95% of their wealth, you assume they are an anomaly. But it seems that this kind of radical philanthropy is catching on. The Gates have convinced over 100 other billionaire families to give away more than half of their wealth.

Of course, we aren’t all billionaires, and for most of us giving away half our income would leave us on the street. But the message is greater than a percentage how can we take what excess we have and multiply it to benefit the global community?

Watch the entire interview below.

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The Gates family is one shining example of an illuminating new frontier in giving; last year’s TEDxPeachtree speaker Jeff Shinabargersocial entrepreneur, founder of Plywood People, GiftCardGiver.com, and author of More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity, was another. Don’t miss this year’s speakers  at TEDxPeachtree 2014. Sign up for our newsletter to get all the info, enjoy early bird rates…and get illuminated!

Molly H Headshot



Molly Heacock is the Community Relations Director at CARE for AIDS, an Atlanta based non-profit that works with men and women affected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. She lives in Ormewood Park with her husband and dog, and cannot get enough of TEDxPeachtree.

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