By Brittany Negaard
Who is TED? It’s not a person, but rather a think-tank program for generating live experiences and video web-casts to share ideas focused on technology, education and design.
The topics and demonstrations are geared to anyone who can take the time to listen. It began as a national conference three years ago, but has since grown to host smaller, nationwide independent events, known as “TEDx” events.
The program has now hosted over 3,200 events internationally, and the range of content has grown to include health care, activism, artistry, and much more. For the second time this year, the ideas of TED will come to Fargo.
The event will take place Thursday, June 21 at Ecce Gallery, bringing together inspiring people to speak, share, and demonstrate ideas and experiences. The event promotes discussions and connects like-minded people in the community.
Organizer Ted Tehven chose Ecce for the events location. “It’s a beautiful museum in the heart of downtown … they are are a wonderful partner.” Ecce is often used for mixed purposes including art, entertainment, and events such as TEDx.
Organizer Tehven has plenty of experience mobilizing communities for positive purposes. Co-founder of Students Today, Leaders Forever (STLF), a volunteer service project based on what one might call “road-trip volunteer projects,” Tehven has helped more than 15,000 students become involved with the service organization.
Tehven has also spent the last year traveling abroad, volunteering for the Peace Corps, and is now working with the Kilbourne group to revitalize and redevelop downtown Fargo.
When he returned to Fargo in August of 2011, Tehven began working on organizing the area’s first TEDx event (the x represents a local and independently organized event).
“I have loved my involvement with TED,” explains Tehven, “I feel I’m connected to the most amazing people in the world and in our community … Our role is to create the best event possible, that shares great ideas, showcases innovation, and moves ideas to action. I am loving learning from my teammates, discovering new ways of doing things, and meeting great friends.”
Despite organizing much of the event, Tehven is sometimes too busy working behind the scenes to catch the speakers and demonstrations first hand. However, one great feature of TED is that anyone who can’t be there in person, can watch the speakers through live online streaming.
“Local artist Michael Strand, gave a tremendous talk at our first event. Shortly after his talk, a think tank in Pennsylvania discovered it and invited Michael to participate with their group. It is fun to know that the four talks recorded at our first event have been viewed 6,300 times,” Tehven says.
Speakers at the upcoming event will include many Fargo natives and visitors from across the country. Speakers include entrepreneur and co-founder of CoCo, Kyle Coolbroth, avid mountain climber Perry Rust, and director and co-founder of the mission group Unseen Ministries, Than Baardson.
Also at the event will be April Schnell, who now works on the executive leadership team of Specialisterne Minnesota, a local division of the international non-profit that trains people with autism in technology-based fields, as well as Irene Fernando, co-founder and executive director of STLF.
Fargo native Mark “Mojo” Olsen will speak about his experience in communication and graphic design, bringing his global experiences home to make our community a better place.
Jazz saxophonist, bassist, and composer Russell Peterson, architect Brian Lee, Appereo’s chief operating officer David Batcheller, family therapist and social worker Deb Dewitzand, and special guest a visual cocktail-crafting master Brian Murphy, will round
off the list of scheduled speakers. Margi Baillly, who has worked for numerous non-profits and business associations in the area will host the event.
If you attend, expect to be intrigued and possibly inspired by some very unique individuals.
“I hope people will leave the event feeling like anything is possible. Our vision is that our audience will turn the ideas into action, creating an impact in our community,” says Tehven. “It feels to me that this could be the next global phenomena of service organizations, becoming the Rotary Club of the 21st century.”
“I hope people get their minds blown and leave feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to act,” says Mark Weiler, owner of Ecce.
If you can’t attend this time, mark your calendars for Nov. 20, 2012, when TEDxYouth Fargo will be held as part of a global weekend of youth-focused events.
In December of 2012 there are plans to host a live webcast of TEDxWomen. If you can’t wait until then for your dose of TED check out http://www.ted.com or tedxfargo.com for videos from past events.
IF YOU GO:
WHERE: Ecce: Art + Yoga, 216 N Broadway
WHEN: Thurs., June 20, 12:30-11:59 p.m.
INFO: SOLD OUT; ted.com
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