A Year Ago with TEDxJacksonville

September 19, 2013 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Take a look at the informative, intelligent and insightful speakers from last years TEDx event and read about where those speakers are today.

Almost a year ago, 100 intellectual explorers gathered at The Friday Musicale to listen to our city’s thought leaders at TEDxRiversideAvondale. Impressed by the outpouring of support from these individuals and inspired by the caliber of the performers, we - the volunteers behind TEDxRA - dared to dream big and applied for the license that eventually lead to TEDxJacksonville.

Today, as we near TEDxJacksonville and the one-year anniversary of the event that propelled it all, we look back at some of the presentations and check with the outstanding speakers who made them.

Al Letson, the host of NPR’s ’s State of the Re:Union, energized the audience when he spoke on ‘How I learned to fly’ at TEDxRiverside last year. “There’s poetry inside of me, there’s poetry inside of you, and if we just craft it, we are ALL poems . . . we are all living breathing poems, and it’s beautiful.” Al, who recently signed the deal with WJCT to have WJCT be the national presenting station of his show, will also be hosting TEDxJacksonvile this year, come October 26th. We can’t be more thrilled.

Wayne Wood, who spoke of the fragility of architecture on ‘Historical Preservation–A Radical Conservative Liberal Concept’, feels his best memory was the connection he made with his audience during his TEDx talk. He says “I met dozens of creative and civic-minded new people, many of whom I have since collaborated on public projects. I am currently focused on revitalizing our city's downtown, and, thanks to TEDx, my network of activists has grown significantly.”

Kevin Songer, who was recently featured in the Washington Post about his work with Green Roofs , spoke of the amazing ability of plants in his talk on ‘Volumteric Green on Urban Core’ at TEDxRiversideAvondale. “Being a TEDxRiversideAvondale speaker changed my life, providing inspiration for sharing my passion of Urban Greening and the many benefits of plants in the Urban Core and Eco-Sustainability, especially from a health and medical perspective.  I am scheduled to present new ideas on Green Roofs and Urban Sustainability this month in South Florida at the South Florida USBGC Tropical Green Conference…I can also see many permanent results of my talk at TEDxRA in action, such as the monarch butterflies that were being raised by Michelle Chance-Sangthong on her balcony - Michelle has not expanded her butterfly raising venture into many more butterflies, plants and is continually spreading the word about Urban Wildlife! see her FB page - and soooo much more.”

Bert Herring, whose TEDxRiversideAvondale talk on “The Mystery of Fast-5 and D.I.E.T” received over 9000 views on the TEDx YouTube channel enjoys the fact that people beyond Riverside Avondale were able to connect with his presentation. He continues his online support of Fast-5 with a new website for the main concept presented in the talk – Did I Enrich Today?

In his talk ‘Making Sustainability Mainstream’ at TEDxRiversideAvondale, Parvez Ahmed spoke of how economic development and environmental stewardship is both possible. “We have implicitly assumed that there is an irrevocable trade-off between economic development and environmental stewardship…It is not more of one leads to less of the other.” Parvez enjoyed the experience of being a TEDx speaker and the opportunity to meet others who share his vision of lifelong learning. Following up on his talk, Parvez was instrumental in establishing the Center for Sustainable Business Practices, of which he is the Director.

NASA rocket scientist Jon Cowart, who spoke on A Retrospective on the Future of Space Exploration, loved the tremendous experience of conjuring and culling imagined ideas with hard science. He speaks fondly of his TEDx experience and urges folks to participate in the upcoming TEDxJacksonville event on October 26th. Jon is now the leader of the NASA team which is working closely with Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies (aka SpaceX) to make human spaceflight easier and cheaper while being safer than it has been for NASA astronauts.  “If you believe in the future where people routinely travel around the solar system like they do in sic-fi movies and books, WE are the folks who are ushering in that future”.

If you’d like to know more about us, visit us at www.tedxjacksonville.com | www.facebook.com/tedxjacksonville | www.twitter.com/tedxjax or apply today to be an audience member.

MetroJacksonville.com has always believed that bringing attention and accolades to our local thinkers, innovators and creatives is one of the best ways to develop and celebrate our unique Jacksonville culture. Our city is filled with revolutionary, thought-provoking people and TEDxJacksonville is a perfect conduit to highlight at least some of the people who are making our city special.

Over the next few months the TEDxJacksonville team will be providing MetroJacksonville.com with information about their event and the people connected to it. We'll be posting their commentary to the front page on a weekly basis. Their team is completely open to dialoguing as they want to provide MetroJacksonville.com as much behind the scenes insight as they can.

We're excited to be working with this group of bright and motivated individuals on the TEDxJacksonville project.