TED, started in 1984, is a nonprofit community devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED initially began as a conference bringing people together from the three worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, but has grown into a much larger force, encompassing annual conferences, global meetings, and TEDx programs.
With the mission to spread ideas, TED set out to accomplish this by bringing together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. The springtime TED Conference is at the heart of TED, drawing more than a thousand attendees over four days and selling out a year in advance.
This movement started many more TED-like conferences around the globe including TEDGlobal, TEDIndia, TEDWomen and TEDx. These TEDx programs give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level, as TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently. In just last month alone, over 280 TEDx events took place in 68 countries, stimulating dialogue and truly spreading valuable ideas.
On Tuesday, November 8th, TEDxPhilly took place at the Temple Performing Arts Center, examining the many different interpretations of the theme: The City. With many different performers, engaging speakers and participants, TEDxPhilly set out to explore some of the greatest challenges, innovations and realities that shape the city and its inhabitants. Many Philadelphians, from all walks of life, assembled to share their ideas, and hopefully turn those into actionable outcomes after the event.
Host Chris Bartlett started off the event with great energy and passion encouraging the audience to unplug from all technology and focus on the overall experience, furthering the sharing of information from people to people. Mayor Michael Nutter also made an appearance, praising TEDxPhilly and all participants and audience members. Mayor Nutter briefly discussed how the local government is creating opportunities for its citizens and encouraged those in attendance to get involved and vote.
Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, engaged the audience and discussed how many American cities have actually become more efficient in the face of the recession. She did a great job explaining how the city systems are rich with resources and fundamental for large-scale change across the country. Code for America works to bring web-industry professionals to work with city governments in the US to promote openness, participation and higher efficiency in municipal governments. Keya Dannenbaum, founder of Elect Next, also spoke about engaging the public in their civic duty to vote. Her new entity, Elect Next, was described as the “e-Harmony for elections”, helping you to discover the candidates that share your values, taking the guesswork out of voting.
Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, director of the Institute of Urban Health at Cooper Hospital, spoke about his career as a primary care physician in a fragmented healthcare system. He is actively working to build an integrated health delivery model to provide better care for residents. The Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement and Denice Frohman also had great performances, encouraging the empowerment of our youth and using the spoken word to raise awareness in our community.
Who was your favorite speaker at TEDxPhilly? Who left the best impression?
Stanford Thompson, founding director of Play On, Philly!, explained how music was able to transform and affect student lives, using his student orchestra program in West Philly as an example. What a great performance! Hass & Hahn, spoke about how they are attempting to transform cities visually with community-driven murals. There last project took place in one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil. This led them to their current project with Mural Arts, in Philadelphia. YoungJin Yoo, director of the Center for Design and Innovation at Temple University, spoke about using cities as actual computing systems, putting his vast experiences in Management Information Systems to use.
Inga Saffron, architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, spoke about the positives of the middle-ground in city planning. She was followed by Yael Lehmann, the executive director of the Food Trust, who is dedicated to making healthy food accessible to everyone. Rich Medina followed this up by praising the city and community of Philadelphia for nurturing his career as a DJ, producer and poet.
With the conclusion of the first two themes, Engage & Transform, the final two themes of Converge and Reveal, also led to great experiences and the spread of amazing ideas. Michael Zaleski, Director of Technology at SEPTA, brought the audience on a comprehensive tour of the SEPTA headquarters and Diana Lind spoke about responsive urban planning and Philadelphia design challenges. A great discussion along with a Q&A was also held by Janet Echelman and Susan Weiler about the redesigning of City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza.
The evening closed with Saturn Never Sleeps, an ambient music duo that performed a live listening session, sampling sounds from different neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Great work to all the 2011 TEDxPhilly organizers, speakers and participants as it was an event to remember! Its so great to see a passionate community come together to share ideas and learn from each other. LTLprints is so proud to be a member of the Philadelphia community and was happy to help out the TEDxPhilly event with large self-adhesive graphics.
X Marks the spot:
LTLprints, located in Old City Philadelphia, PA, is an on-demand printing company, combining large-format self-adhesive prints, eco-solvent digital inks and the best web-to-print technology. The company enables community businesses, photographers, artists and designers to create, buy and sell premium, large-format wall graphics and wall art or even LARGE red X’s for your floor!! As always, LTL Prints is the number one place for custom wall murals, custom decals, and on-demand printing.