Since September, I've been working on something pretty amazing: TEDxPhilly. Yup, the second annual TEDxPhilly conference is back, this time taking on The City, all-day on Tuesday, November 8 at Temple Performing Arts Center (1837 North Broad St).
What does The City mean to you? That is the big question of the day. Architects, educators, community leaders and activists, public health professionals, urban planners, poets, technologists, journalists, filmmakers, non-profit luminaries, business visionaries, musicians, and others will converge to share some of the boldest and best ideas on cities.
I can't be more excited for November 8. Have you seen this speakers list?!?
The event hasn't happened yet, but I have to say, one of the coolest things I've experienced related to TEDxPhilly thus far is actually the behind-the-scenes action. Over the past few months, I've gotten to know some pretty amazing people and see how a powerhouse event like TEDxPhilly is built from the ground-up, planned, managed and executed by a dedicated, all-volunteer team. These intrepid idea champions meet every week (and started meeting months before I even signed on). They talk, a lot. They have assignments and homework and scarily long to-do lists. They are planning an event designed to elevate the mind. They also have their own lives and "real" jobs but they make TEDxPhilly fit.
So what makes it all worth it?
People benefit from the exchange of ideas. Can't argue with that. By presenting a day of talks, one after the next, we're creating an environment aimed to spark curiosity and reflection, encouraging both the speakers and the audience to perhaps think about something in a new way, or decide to take on a project they never thought possible. There are ideas worth spreading. Philadelphia has many forums for this kind of exchange and we're a better city because of it.
Know what else is interesting? The number of people who freely tell me they stay up late watching TED talks in bed on their laptops and phones, when I mention that I'm working on TEDxPhilly. That number is high!
If you're thinking about coming to TEDxPhilly, you should maybe stop thinking about it and come. I was beyond bummed that I didn't get a chance to attend last year (SOLD OUT). TEDxPhilly is an experience I would not want to miss (and won't). Visit www.tedxphilly.com to learn more and register to attend.
And hey! I might be in this video. Standing in the median on Broad St.