TEDxTryon: Local ideas heard round the world

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

All of us who call Polk County and the surrounding area home know our region has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to remarkable people. Never is that more evident than when speaker applications for TEDxTryon come rolling in—as they have for the last few months.

From inventive ways of solving serious community issues to pioneering thoughts on improving our own lives, the “ideas worth spreading” in this year’s application pool offer a wide range of ingenious concepts that are wonderfully local, yet are also globally applicable.

For the second year in a row, at least ten of these ideas will receive both the local and worldwide audiences they deserve through TEDxTryon.

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For those not familiar, TEDxTryon is a locally organized event and is especially supported by the Arts and Education Committee of Tryon Fine Arts Center. It is licensed by TED, a platform for ideas worth spreading.

Started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, TED today shares ideas from a broad spectrum—from science to business to global issues—in more than 100 languages. Independently licensed TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world—like ours.  TED provides a platform to the world’s leading thinkers and doers; and through TEDxTryon, our speakers receive a global platform as well.

TEDxTryon speakers stand on a local stage in front of a local audience. Then, videos of their talks are posted on the official TEDx YouTube channel, where they are viewed by people from across the country and across the world. The best talks make it onto the TED.com website. It’s an incredible opportunity for the speakers and their ideas, and a real feather in the cap of our community. To date, our 2015 TEDxTryon speakers have literally been seen by thousands. (You can view their talks at http://tedxtalks.ted.com.)

As this year’s speaker selection committee now turns from soliciting applications to the herculean task of choosing just ten speakers from the many, many inspired ideas received, we are awed once again by the deep bench of “ideas worth spreading” our community has presented us with. We are also grateful that TEDxTryon gives us a perfect venue for sharing the true riches of our region with the world.

TEDxTryon 2016 takes place on Sept. 10 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. Our roster of speakers will be announced in June, and a limited number of tickets to the live event will be made available this summer.

Until then, if you’d like to get involved, go to TEDxTryon.com and fill out a volunteer form.


– Submitted by Beth Brand