TEDx: Talk of the town

Named for its aim of connecting people from the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED has grown over the last 26 years

Bob McDonald of CBC's Quirks and Quarks will be among speakers at TEDx Victoria 2013: Emergence.

Bob McDonald of CBC's Quirks and Quarks will be among speakers at TEDx Victoria 2013: Emergence.

There’s no denying the enthusiasm organizers ooze for TEDxVictoria. Grandiose, sanguine, optimistic – who cares? They’re tapped into big ideas and a city full of people is lined up to spread them.

“It’s almost exactly like the Long Beach TED,” says Ari Hershberg, comparing the third-annual independently-organized Victoria event to its early-’80s predecessor. “I mean, Bill Gates won’t be there. Warren Buffett won’t be there, but that feeling of strong community and such a buzz over the talks will be. The groups of people sharing their thoughts on the talk creates a strong dialogue that emerges out of the room. It washes over their friends and their city afterward.”

Seventy-two people applied to present at TEDxVictoria 2013: Emergence. Of those, 15 were chosen to talk, or perform in the case of Kathryn Calder. Nearly 800 spectators are expected at the McPherson Playhouse Nov. 16 to take part in the event.

Named for its aim of connecting people from the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED has grown over the last 26 years to encompass a broader range of ideas, including the kind of talk Tiffany Poirer will give at the Mac. The elementary school philosophy teacher helps children become more creative adults with more empowered thinking – children who grow up and find their way into TED events.

“Why isn’t it that everyone emerges to create the whole – creating something stronger. Everyone has these great skills that they’re born with and if they get to speak, they can create a stronger impact than just one person speaking,” he says.

The day’s talks move across a range of fields, with ideas from filmmaker and activist Ian MacKenzie, to tennis pro Rebecca Marino and science journalist Bob McDonald. The through line: emergence.

“Emergence is exciting because we have so many people together talking about these talks that we’re sharing and taking it so much farther as a group and creating a stronger community,” Hershberg says.

To describe the vibe inside a day-long TED event, Hershberg looks to the first one he attended, and a  talk given by author/educator Ken Robinson.

“Teachers were crying in the audience,” he says. “They were laughing and the whole room had emotion. There’s something about watching something alone, or with your partner at home, which is lovely, but there’s also something about being in that emotion. That’s why people are drawn to concerts. They get to feel the vibe in this case, something that resonates with them, or they can see something that didn’t interest them resonating with other people and now it interests them. It’s mind-opening, breaking guards down.”

Details at tedxvictoria.com, with tickets at rmts.bc.ca.

 

 

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