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TEDx_2013_Flyer_11x17_RGBTED: The backstory:

Know TED?

If not, it is well worth getting acquainted.

TED is an acronym that unravels into a triptych, “Technology, Entertainment, and Design,” three broad subject areas that are collectively shaping our future.

TED is also the name of a conference (and creative community) of research lectures, technology, demonstrations, arts, performances, and self-described world-changing ideas, California. Attendees have described the event as “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future in the company of those creating it.”

Think about TED as a showroom for the intellectual style of the cyber age. And then think about how much you might want to experience some of the worldʼs leading thinkers and doers, people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Isabel Allende, Jane Goodall and Paul Stamets, a regular a Telluride’s Shroomfest, asked to give the talk of their lives in just 18 minutes – or out comes the hook.

Darn, had you known about TED (and assuming you have fairly deep pockets – the price of entry is $7,500), you might have chosen to attend the Long Beach event. But it is sold out per usual. TEDxTellurideLive, however, is free and Telluride’s Palm Theatre has about 200 of its 587 seats remaining, so all is not lost. (But reserve NOW! See below for how.)

TEDxTellurideLive: A brief history:

Since it’s relatively modest start nearly three decades ago in Long Beach, California, TED has grown to support world-altering ideas through multiple initiatives, including TEDxLive, a one-day simulcast of the annual conference. Only one day of the four is the norm – unless you are persistent. Thanks to the efforts of part-time locals, Bill and Katrine Formby, Telluride gets to experience two days of live streaming, Wednesday, February 27, 9:30 a.m. – 7:45 p.m. and Thursday, February 28, 12:00 noon–7:45 p.m.

“We canʼt think of a more perfect place to hold a simulcast than Telluride. Telluride is a sophisticated small town filled with intellectually curious people who thrive on dynamic ideas. Weʼre not surprised that we have already had to change from a smaller venue to a larger venue because of the flurry of registrations,” explains event organizer Katrine Formby about why she and husband Bill determined to initiate TEDxTellurideLive.

The light bulb moment that led to TEDxTellurideLive happened on the heels of TEDGlobal, which Katrine attended at its home in Oxford, England (before TEDGlobal was moved to Edinburgh, Scotland) during summer 2009.

“I watched inventor Josh Silver demonstrate his adjustable eyeglass lenses that work like binoculars. (You adjust the lenses until you can see well, then snap off the plastic strap and you have glasses perfect for you.) Silver wants to get these glasses out to the millions of people who live in countries where there is no eye care,” explains Katrine. “I heard Dr. Cary Fowler suggest the idea of an underground “seed bank” where hundreds of thousands of seeds from every crop variety in the world can be stored in case there is a holocaust. That way the world can be replanted. I remember Dr. Fowler showed a slide of an artist rendering of his idea and I sat in the audience impressed. But I was blown away when his next slide showed the ACTUAL seed bank that he had built in a tunnel of northern Norway. I heard about an airplane that needs a 64 meter wig span to absorb the rays of the sun, so the plane can fly totally with solar energy (storing up energy during the day so the plane can continue flying at night). And I listened to Lewis Gordon Pugh who had swum for 19 minutes across the North Pole in water that was 29 degrees Fahrenheit to draw attention to the effects of global warming.”

TEDGlobal lasted four days.

“During the conference,” Katrine continues, “I wondered if I would be worn out at the end of four days. Would I be exhausted? Drained? How would I feel the morning of Day 5 when it was time to go home? I woke up on that 5th morning thinking: ‘I could do it all again. Another day of talks would be marvelous!'”

TEDxTellurideLive: 2013 Rules of the Game:

TEDxTellurideLive opened for business last year.

“Considering 2012 was an inaugural year, TEDxTellurideLive turned out really well. We had lots of positive comments from people who attended,” explains Katrine,”but we also took criticisms to heart and made some significant changes this year.”

Last year, the Palm was so dark during the simulcast, people were unable to take notes. This year, Katrine and her crew of volunteers will have the light up a bit.

“It will still dark enough so the simulcast will be crisp, but light enough for people to find their pens and paper.”

Last year, no iPads or laptops were allowed in the theatre for note taking. This year, those devices are allowed in the last two rows downstairs and in the balcony, which is how it works in Long Beach: anything with a screen can only be used in the last couple of rows. But no iPhones.

Last year, Katrine & Co. strongly encouraged people to attend the entire day, not just cherry pick session. This year, the producers are allowing cherry-picking, but only for session blocks, not for individual speakers within those blocks.

“For example, on Wednesday morning the first session is from 9:30 am – 11:15 am and there will be 7 speakers. People can elect to attend that first session to hear all 7 speakers, but if they have to get back to work after that session (so after 11:15 am) and they need to miss the rest of the sessions during the day, that is fine.  Or if they want to come back on Wednesday for the final session (6:00 pm – 7:45 pm) that is fine. We won’t be allowing people to enter the auditorium after a session has started however. It’s just too distracting for the audience to have doors clang open and shut during the talks.”

Because this year’s title is “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered,” it seems appropriate to bring in as many students as possible to hear the TED talks–especially the talks from teenagers, so producers are encouraging even more students to attend the 2013 event.

“One talk will feature a 17-year old nuclear scientist. Another will be delivered by a 15-year old who invented a new way to detect pancreatic cancer early. And there are also a couple of teenagers speaking about their discovery of a strain of bacteria that helps break down nasty compounds called phthalates that are found in plastics.”

Finally, the producers have employed a professional security person who will be on duty all hours.

 Since the Palm is in a school setting, we thought this precaution was absolutely necessary – unfortunately.”

TEDxTellurideLive: The Speakers, all “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.”

To register, go to www.tedxtelluridelive.com, then click on “Speakers.”

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