idea-week-logo3.ashx.jpg Last year, it was a concept that needed explaining. This year, the ripples from TEDxSMU are changing the way North Texans connect to share ideas.

TEDxSMU returns to Dallas on October 16, challenging old boundaries between art and science, business and philanthropy, dreaming and life-changing innovation. Speakers at TEDxSMU get no more than 18 minutes to give “the talk of their lives,” delivered in rapid-fire format, often with astounding visuals and demonstrations.

Applications for TEDxSMU 2010 closed over the summer, but the October 16 all-day event at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre will be streamed live this year, meaning everyone can share the experience. Performances and lectures will range from “The Rap Guide to Evolution” to a frontline discussion of global threats posed by infectious diseases and demonstrations of high-tech gadgetry.

New this year is the launch of Idea Week, which runs October 11-17. Idea Week extends the TED philosophy of bringing people together to share ideas worth spreading. It features multiple daily events – many of which are free to the public – designed to spotlight some of the most exciting conversations occurring throughout Dallas. Early participants include groups like Big Thought, Cyclesomatic, Spark Club, TITAS, Dallas Social Venture Partners, D Magazine and Pecha Kucha Dallas.

TEDxKids @SMU returns on October 15, delivering new ideas to the younger generation of scientists, engineers, artists, inventors and entrepreneurs. The format is even faster than the adult version, delivering 15 speakers in four hours: Some get three minutes, a few get as many as 15 minutes, but the young participants tap into kinetic presentations on topics ranging from the science of yo-yos to space exploration. It’s the perfect format for middle school kids, who measure time by the number of texts they can send in a minute.

“TEDxSMU has really taken on a life of its own,” said producer Sharon Lyle. “There’s just too much creativity out there, and too much opportunity to limit people to a single event that happens once a year. We want to use the TEDx anchor event as a springboard for a conversation that keeps on going.”

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