Tag Archive | "TED"

This Is It! TEDxPeachtree Is Set to Catalyze on Nov 8


Friends, the big day is almost here! Tomorrow, the fifth annual TEDxPeachtree will kick off at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and the anticipation is at a fever pitch. Seventeen outstanding speakers and artists will share through their ideas and experiences of what it means to “Catalyze“, the theme of this year’s event. They will be joined by a sold-out crowd of 500 ignited, curious and passionate attendees, and hundreds more joining via livestream from as far as Europe and Asia.

True to TED‘s mission to showcase “ideas worth spreading“, TEDxPeachtree has developed a reputation to inspire and surprise, and this year is no exception. Attendees can look forward to a carefully curated day of thought-provoking talks and genre-defying artistic performances with ample breaks for making connections with the speakers, patrons and fellow attendees. And there’s more: past attendees also know that the TEDxPeachtree organizers are a playful bunch, and this year’s program holds promise of an unexpected element or two that will surprise and delight.

On Friday, Buckhead Theatre will be transformed into a total experiential space in which attendees will feast on ideas, tasty bites and rich conversations that promise to build upon this year’s theme and imbue a sense of serendipitous connections. TEDxPeachtree is often described as a daylong “brain spa“, and for good reasons: this is a day in which attendees unplug from their daily routines to purposely dedicate time to be inspired and rejuvenated.

Having been a past attendee, as well as serving on this year’s planning committee, I have the advantage of seeing TEDxPeachtree in the audience seat and from behind the curtains. I am particularly blown away by the superb quality of speakers, the commitment of the TEDxPeachtree leadership, and the sponsors and patrons who choose to be involved with TEDxPeachtree. I loved my experience as an attendee last year, and I am willing to stake a claim that this year, many attendees will also come away inspired to catalyze a change somewhere in their lives.

Tickets to the event are now all gone, but you can still watch the event through free livestream, or get live updates by following @tedxpeachtree or joining the global online conversation using #TEDxPT and #TEDxPTcatalyze. For those in Atlanta, join us at the official after-party at Czar Ice Bar, open to the public at 4:30 pm.

For those are attending tomorrow, here are some tips for a good TEDxPeachtree experience:

1. Clear out your schedule for the day. With speakers like LEGO brick artist Nathan Sawaya, inventor Amy Baxter and guardian Mary Frances Bowley, you won’t regret it.

2. Dress Code: You must wear clothes! Business or creative casual.

3. Registration opens at 9 AM and we will have coffee AND tea available. No tickets needed but please have your ID ready. Your name and those of your guest(s) must be on our list. Lunch will also be provided.

4. Spoken Program: The program begins at 9:45 AM. Doors close promptly and late arrivals will not be admitted until the 2nd speaker block at 11 AM.

5. Parking: Please download this parking map for a better parking experience and to avoid getting towed.

6. WIFI: Wifi will be available. Live tweeting, Instagramming, Vining, etc. welcome. Please refrain from accessing YouTube and similar video sites at the event.

7. Video: Please do not video record speakers inside the auditorium. Video interviews are welcome in the lobby area.

See you tomorrow!

Wendy Ho is a sales marketing manager for CNN, and enjoys giving time to various projects in Atlanta, including volunteering as assistant Marketing Communications Director for TEDxPeachtree 2013. 

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2013 Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Shinabarger


Jeff Shinabarger

Jeff Shinabarger

Jeff Shinabarger‘s motto in life is “we will be known by the problems we solve,” and one problem Jeff, a social entrepreneur, founder of Plywood People, GiftCardGiver.com, and author of More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity is trying to solve is poverty.

His work at Plywood People helps support charitable organizations to provide relief to the poor, distressed and underprivileged. Plywood does so by education through events and conferences, and implementation through Gift Card Giver and Billboard Bags.

He will be giving his first TEDx talk next month with us and is humbled at the opportunity to share his ideas. “Some of my greatest living heroes have graced the stage of TED and my life has been shaped by their thoughts,” he said. “I hope to have something to share that resonates with others.”

One way that Jeff is shaping the lives of others is through his book. In his book, he questions readers to determine what “enough” means. He put that question to the test and started an experiment. Jeff wondered if he had enough food in his pantry to survive for a month. It turns out, he had enough food to last him two.

“More often than ever, we eat through every ounce of food that we have,” he said. “We have changed many habits. We love food, but we have found that we do better eating fresh food and clear our shelves more often.”

Jeff credits the people in his life for giving him rarely deserved catalytic moments. “Without people around me that have given me opportunities, I would never have the influence I have today. When I think about that, it inspires me to platform others and give them opportunities to dream and share their dreams with others.” He adds. “I hope I can play a role like this in other people’s developing stories.”

As a social entrepreneur, Jeff is paving the way for others with the same passion and drive. He is a mentor to many social innovators and he enjoys seeing them succeed. “Digging into their projects and finding opportunities to do things differently fuels me with energy. Ultimately, there are people in our society that have great needs and if we can create new ideas that address simple needs, it is a life giving.”

One of the greatest moments in his life was going through the adoption process for his daughter, which changed his life changed forever. In fact, he and his wife quickly became advocates and educators for adoption after their own success. Jeff is a man who is passionate about his family. If he were to change the world and lose his family, he’d equate that as a loss. He has dreams of seeing Atlanta as a center for social innovation, but doesn’t want to succeed at the cost of negatively influencing his family.

“I hope to raise kids that are changing the world and that, takes time, energy and creativity.”

Let Jeff Shinabarger inspire you at TEDxPeachtree on November 8. Purchase your tickets here today!

Emily Yang is the communications coordinator for Leadership DeKalb and is looking forward to her first TEDxPeachtree event on November 8.

Posted in General, Speakers, TED, TEDxComments (1)

Speaker Spotlight on Aurora Robson: Matter Matters


Aurora Robson

Aurora Robson

Aurora Robson has absolutely no problem with trash talk…especially when it has to do with turning refuse into things of beauty. The 2013 TEDxPeachtree speaker talks about how the focus of her work, transforming plastic debris into works of art came to be, “There have been so many purely unexpected changes in my life that have become catalysts for irreversible changes! The moment I saw a heap of garbage outside my studio in Brooklyn and realized instantaneously that plastic debris was everywhere and was a virtually unexplored medium for making art with was one such moment for me. It was like a veil was lifted and I saw a clearer path.”

Catalysts come from many places, some planned, some not. Aurora hopes, as do other speakers involved with TED and TEDx talks everywhere, that attendees will be moved and changed by what they hear. “I am excited,” she says about presenting on November 8th, “because if I do a good enough job, this could be an opportunity for me to be a catalyst in terms of introducing an idea that could have a positive impact on the world for generations to come.”

When asked if her focus on using items destined for landfill has been more about recycling/re-using or about making something beautiful out of something no longer functional, Aurora states, “Neither.” The focal point of her work “is more about finding a balance and creating harmony out of dissonance. I am really interested in making art in a way that has been previously unexplored while being as conscientious as possible.” Aurora has taken this a step further by creating a college class, “Sculpture + Intercepting the Waste Stream,” which she taught at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia.

Aurora is excited at the potential impact this course could have on students and environments. It’s “a model that if implemented internationally at colleges that offer sculpture programs could actually restrict the flow of debris to our oceans. It also affords young art students with an opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, experience what is like to create work with a broad range of cultural and social relevancy, and create sustainable art that has the potential to sustain them economically.”

When the artist takes the stage on November 8th at the Buckhead Theater to deliver her first TEDx presentation, it won’t be her first TED-related experience. Earlier this year, she and two other transformative artists presented their work at TEDActive. Sometime later, the Lincoln Motor Company created and unveiled videos about the three at a TED@250 salon talk in New York. The videos were part of the launching of the TED/Lincoln Re-imagine Project.

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“The TED/Lincoln Re-imagine Prize came as a great surprise to me,” confides Aurora. “Receiving the prize has given me fuel, courage and the confidence to persevere.”

And that’s not talking trash.

Wendy Kalman attended the 2009 TEDxPeachtree event and became hooked, volunteering each year ever since. By day, she works as a Proposal Manager, and by night, her alter ego as involved parent, engaged volunteer, music lover, and Facebook addict emerges.

Posted in General, Speakers, TED, TEDxComments (0)

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