TEDxChattanooga returns, introduces ‘crazy’ ideas to community

By Hayden Seay, Chattanooga, Tenn., — TEDxChattanooga focuses on sharing ideas that might sound crazy, but might help change the world for the better.

TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is a series of conferences that are held worldwide.

Co­-organizer and Cline Chair of Excellence in Physical Therapy at UTC David Levine said, “The vision of TED is sharing great ideas and sparking good conversations and understanding the world around us.”

The smaller TEDx series of events are organized by local coordinators and provide an outlet for individuals and entities in the area to share ideas.

Levine said, “The Chattanooga programs are local, self-­organized events that bring people together for a TED-like experiences.”

The first local TED event, TEDxUTChattanooga, focused on “what now” for Chattanooga, featured 12 speakers, including students Robert Fisher and Jackson Stone.

The speakers spoke about a wide range of topics, from Fisher’s talk about how to turn Chattanooga into a “City of Equity,” to Stone’s argument about how to make software design that fascinates its users.

In order to host larger events, Levine said organizers must “work their way up the TED ladder” and everything must be approved beforehand.

Speakers for this year’s event are set to be announced in the fall, but students who want to speak can send in an application.

“If there is a student that has an idea and they want to speak, this is the time to think about their talk and get in their application to speak,” said Levine. “It would be a really great thing for a student to have on their resume.”

“It’s actually a really big deal, my sister went to [TED] in Switzerland and was raving about it, it’s awesome that its coming here” said Shelby Johnson, a senior from Nashville, Tenn.

TEDxChattanooga starts on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 in the Roland W. Hayes Concert Hall.

Tickets cost $40 and includes breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt. Afterwards, an after party is being held at the Tennessee Aquarium, with tickets costing $25.

For more information, check out tedxchattanooga.com

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