Sparks fly at TEDxTC


Last night TEDxTC hosted a TEDx Remix at the Science Museum. If that sounds a little like a foreign language, I’ll translate.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a conference, or series of conferences, where smart people give presentations that are generally less than 20 minutes long. Some presenters are famous (think Bill Gates); some are not. Some have made their fortune (think Bill Gates); some have not. But most are talking about their passion or an epiphany. The big conferences are expensive and exclusive – but videos of the presentations are made available on the web site after the fact. They are inspiring, informative, sometimes funny, sometimes sad but they always include “ideas worth spreading.”

TEDx events are independently organized TED events hosted locally. There are dozens, if not hundreds of TEDx events each year. Usually they are a mix of live presentations and must include a couple of official TED videos. They are generally free and while in my experience they tend to sell out, they are more accessible than the national and international events. TEDxTC is the locally held TEDx event. There have been several, hosted at the Science Museum. On Thursday night, TEDxTC hosted a TEDx Remix. There weren’t any live presentations, just video. Two videos were from previous TEDxTC events and were being debuted – Peter Benson’s TEDxTC talk on Child Development and Sparks and Sedra Bistodeau’s electrifying violin performance. Peter Benson was on hand and answered a few questions from the audience after the presentation was shown.

I have been to TEDx events, but not a TEDx Remix. As a big TED Talk fan, I enjoyed the night. I hadn’t seen most of the videos they showed. The Search Institute’s Peter Benson gave a talk that inspired me to act. He spoke about the importance of helping kids find their sparks as a way to promote healthy development. Your spark is your passion, generally built on something you’re good at doing or something you enjoy. He offered some tips to help ignite sparks; it all starts with asking kids what they like to do. So I tried it out with my six year old. The Science Museum will be thrilled to find out that when asked what she likes to do, she answered without hesitation – go to the Science Museum. I feel like the conversation may be deeper with my older kids – but they aren’t hanging out in my office today. I’ll ask them later. Not that I won’t take the younger daughter’s answer seriously, but it seems as if middle and high school and prime times for finding your spark.

The big announcement of the night was the date and topic for the next TEDxTC meeting. On June 7, TEDxTC will host live presentations on the topic of food. Tickets are not yet available but will be announced on Facebook or Twitter once registration is open