TEDxChattanooga announced; engaging speakers sought

Authored By seanphippster

2014’s TEDxUTChattanooga event was a resounding success in terms of the spirit of TED talks and the goal of exploring “ideas worth spreading.” And in 2016, things will get even more interesting for the program, thanks to an upgrade of sorts.

While the TEDxUTChattanooga event was a university-based event, TEDxChattanooga-scheduled for Feb. 27-will be the first full-scale, citywide TEDx event in Chattanooga. It will be held on UTC’s campus at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, and tickets are already available. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organizers are encouraging potential speakers to explore the theme of “this might sound crazy, but …”-an homage to the ambitious ideas that have shaped Chattanooga into the city it is presently.

“Some of the most creative, inspiring and thought-provoking conversations begin with someone saying, ‘This might sound crazy, but .’,” said David Levine, co-organizer of TEDxChattanooga. “The plan to build an aquarium on the Tennessee River might have started with, ‘This might sound crazy, but ..’ We are looking for examples of crazy ideas that have the power to change our society for the better.”

The deadline for speaker applications is Sept. 14. The simple form can be found here. All ideas will be considered and applicants will be contacted in October, with a roster of speakers announced to the public this fall.

“We’re looking for speakers that would be willing to come to Chattanooga,” said Linda Frost, co-organizer of the event and dean of the Honors College at UTC. “Still, the majority will be through applications. We’re also hoping to have some more youth speakers this time.”

Frost said between 12 and 15 speakers will be highlighted, but opportunities also exist for local music, theater, art and dance between speakers. 

In addition, organizers are encouraging the general public to suggest a talk or idea for the program. Click here for more information.

TEDxChattanooga is influenced by a who’s who of Chattanooga thought leaders, including UTC Chancellor Emeritus Roger Brown, WTCI’s Alison Lebovitz, EPB Vice President of Marketing J. Ed. Marston and River City Co. President/CEO Kim White. Click here for a full roster.

TEDx was created by the originators of the TED conference to promote more ideas worth spreading. Although the local conferences are offered general guidance from TED, individual TEDx events are self-organized versions of the TED experience.

Click here to view the TEDxUTChattanooga talks from the 2014 event. Below, view muralist Kevin Bate as he talks about the formation of the McCallie Walls Mural Project.