The organizers of TEDxPeachtree, which takes place in the heart of Atlanta, are thankful for our annual opportunity to not only raise awareness as we showcase the incredible work and ideas of those who call this city home. Recently, TED speaker Hannah Brencher (watch her talk above) joined the ranks of Atlantans. We caught up with her the other day to hear about what brought her to our city and gush about the upcoming TEDxPeachtree event.
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.
Writer 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 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.