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Team Connections at TEDxPeachtree

Each year, we are excited to meet outstanding leaders and their teams who attend TEDxPeachtree to connect with others and inspire their staff. This year, we were grateful to get to talk with Linda Beyea after the event to hear about her experience.


I lead the innovation program at the American Arbitration Association. While our organization has existed for 88 years, we recognize the importance of changing and adapting to better serve our customers. Looking at trends and developments in other industries is a powerful way to stimulate ideas for innovations in your own industry. TEDxPeachtree is the perfect opportunity for our Atlanta Innovation Team to hear the ideas and experiences of several outstanding speakers from a variety of backgrounds.

Connection and conversation are key to nurturing innovation, and the TEDxPeachtree event allows our team to connect with like-minded people we might not otherwise meet in our day-to-day business. Our team regularly seeks opportunities to get out of the office and into the field to open our minds and gain fresh insight into how we can better serve our customers. TEDxPeachtree had been on our wish-list for a field trip, and we knew that we would be inspired!



Linda Beyea is a Vice President with the American Arbitration Association, the world’s leading provider of alternative dispute resolution services.











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Top Tweets of TEDxPeachtree 2014

Top Tweets of TEDxPeachtree 2014

While the speakers took to the stage, audience members took to social media to share their “Ah-ha” moments of TEDxPeachtree 2014. There were so many tweets with the #TEDxPT hashtag that it was a trending topic for the day. So…what were people sharing with their followers in the Twitterverse? Here are a few of the top tweets of TEDxPeachtree 2014:


@KarenRussell: Why I love #TEDxPT: an engineering doc student talking about origami as an inspiration for space exploration.

@juniabaker: An origami solar sail that is larger than Piedmont Park. Can you imagine? #TEDxPT

@GeekMomTLH: TEDx is a wonderful marriage of Alice in Wonderland to Revenge of the Nerds. Total coolness!#TEDxPT

@TEDxBirmingham: “Recognize the little bits of inspiration that will help us change the world.” Shannon Zirbel at @TEDxPeachtree. #TEDxPT

@Deborahschild: We have to find a solution to the wasted energy problem when we grow plants indoors! #ericomattos #TEDxPT

@Potusottis: Love seeing #women in #science #tech and #innovation at #TEDxPT

@sharkespearean: When a car breaks down, smoke is not the cause of the problem. We need to treat the cause. Same goes with cancer. @Notmadscientist #TEDxPT

@JimHoganConsult: E-N-E-R-G-Y with HeaveN Beatbox. The voice is so powerful. #TEDxPT

@Deborahschild: While the tech is amazing, it can also be scary. How will it be monetized? How will you keep up with your real life? #TEDxPT #derekfridman

@kelseykdaniels: “This is meaningful for people beyond rehab.” – Realization after teaching a grandpa how to play “Happy Birthday” for his grandson. #TEDxPT

@wendybritt: Abby Norman is talking about the wrong way HS dress codes are conveyed. Agreed. So wish my sons’ HS principal would hear this. #TEDxPT

@Deborahschild: We teach men that they are victims of their bodies when we say that they can’t help themselves or boys will be boys. #TEDxPT #abbynorman

@felfoldi: “I worried about my problems all the time, as if that extra mental effort would solve them.” – Genna Duberstein #TEDxPT

@elizaday: “Your creative play is a gift to your city.” ATL Chantelle Rytter lantern parade #TEDxPT

@Deborahschild: Civic play is happening in Atlanta and it’s making people fall in love with the city! #TEDxPT

@Notmadscientist: #tedxpt is the only place where a cancer researcher like myself and a beatboxer like @heavenbeatbox share the same stage

@hypepotamus:  Just heard a dog speak! #TEDxPT @TEDxPeachtree
@lady_gee20: I had an amazing time at #TEDxPT, this is not the end, i will continue to be illuminated until i touch the earth. Awesome #TEDxPT experience
@aklahaie: Inspirational day at #TEDxPT! Space travel & Origami, talking dogs & plants, beatboxing, tapdancing & more > #mindexpanded #ILLUMINATED
Were you illuminated by TEDxPeachtree 2014? Share your thoughts on Twitter or on our website at

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.

Posted in News, Speakers, TEDx1 Comment

Illuminated – Reflecting on the Brilliance of TEDxPeachtree 2014

Illuminated – Reflecting on the Brilliance of TEDxPeachtree 2014

The theme of this year’s TEDxPeachtree was “illuminate,” but it is nearly impossible to use one word to describe the October 17th gathering. Brainwave-derived art, personalized cancer treatment, artificial intelligence, talking dogs, mathematical origami and other amazing skills and discoveries were presented to a captivated audience at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta. Thirteen men and women, along with a canine, came to the stage in four segments: Frontiers, The Lab, Sensory Percussions, and Play. They presented their solutions, ideas, and talents to prove that we do not have to go with the status quo; attendees saw firsthand how one person’s idea can ignite great change in our world.

In Frontiers, the presenters had asked, “What if?” to possible solutions to a myriad of problems, and allowed their passions run free in pursuit of answering those questions. Keith McGreggor explained fractal thinking and showed us how our ability to see novelty and abstraction separates us from artificial intelligence, a multi-layered concept he was able to effortlessly explain to the audience.

One attendee commented, “Keith’s was my favorite talk. His thought process on thought processes was great. And he was able to explain it in words that everyone can understand.”

Shannon Zirbel‘s love of space and origami  led her to the creation of the Hanaflex design used in the deployment of NASA solar arrays. The PhD candidate’s work in compliant mechanism theory in space technology has led to the creation of lightweight solutions to problems in advancing the exploration of the final frontier.

But the crowd favorite easily went to the dogs, literally. DSC08570 copyMelody Moore Jackson wowed the audience with her presentation of an interactive vest for service dogs that takes their ability to communicate well beyond the typical nudges and leading of seeing eye dogs. In a TEDx first, the speaker was joined onstage by man’s best friend; Blitz the Border Collie tugged a pull cord mechanism attached to her vest and spoke by triggering a recorded call for help.

In The Lab, our minds were introduced to people who brought light to concepts of cancer, agriculture and livestock and the human mind. Erico Mattos’s discovery of the use of biofeedback in hydroponics to know when plants have had enough sun had many in the audience talking. “The plants can turn the light on and off? That is unreal,” commented one young woman.

Ion Popian demonstrated how he transforms brainwaves into tangible objects and Adam Marcus spoke on taking the process of cancer treatment to a personal level. His concept of using individualized systems of care that utilize old and new therapies is changing the way doctors battle the disease. Video of the 2013 TED Talk by 13-year old Richard Turere brought smiles with his tale of using solar energy, and a bit of ingenuity to keep the lions away from his family’s cattle in Kenya. His youthful exuberance and inventive mind gave a glimpse into the future of bright TED talent we can expect to see in the future.

TEDxPeachtree is not complete without the inclusion of entertainment to inspire audience members. HeaveN Beatbox and Christopher Erk brought their gifts of vocal percussion and dance in the Sensory Percussions and Play sections of the program. Apart, their performances were brilliant; together onstage, this duo left attendees in awe.

The second half of the day included passive learning success stories from VR expert Thad Starner, possibilities in memory recall and capturing moments for future generations using that same virtual technology from Derek Fridman, body owning champion Abby Norman, sun gazer Genna Duberstein, and the final talk of the day by Chantelle Rytter. Her call for civic play as an impetus for community building segued into a grand finale of glowing lanterns and music from The Wasted Potential Brass Band.

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Inspired and illuminated, attendees left the day’s event wondering, “How can they possible top that?” Guess they’ll just have to wait until TEDxPeachtree 2015 to find out!


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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