Speakers include New York Times Magazine-lauded playwright and Meadows Prize winner Will Power, PBS KIDS marketing guru Lesli Rotenberg, “Pay It Forward” leader Charley Johnson and dozens of other speakers.
The TEDxSMU program is built around rapid-fire, highly visual talks and performances, all wrapped around a theme this year of re:THINK. Among the presenters is Christian Genco of Colleyville, Texas – an SMU senior computer science major who has created a unique experiment in playing music by sampling various foods. Genco will be a presenter at both TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU. Click the YouTube screen to watch him play The Star-Spangled Banner with fruits, vegetables and a beverage straw, or click this link to see Christian Genco’s performance in a new window.
“We are just pumped about the speakers and topics this year,” said TEDxSMU Executive Director Sharon Lyle. “This is our fourth year, now, and we can track real change in the Dallas area tied to people who were inspired to act after attending TEDxSMU. I can’t tell you how exciting that is.”
Tickets sales for TEDxSMU 2012 are closed, but the live-stream is free and designed to help the conversations that start at TEDxSMU get bigger, travel further and find new audiences.
TEDxKids @SMU (the first TEDx event designed for students) hosts 350 middle school students for a free four-hour conference, in exchange for completing four hours of community service. The 575 TEDxSMU attendees must apply and be selected in order to participate in the full-day conference.
All TEDxSMU speakers will follow the TED format of using no more than 18 minutes to give “the talk of their lives,” often with astounding visuals and demonstrations. 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.
TEDxKids sports an even faster format than the adult version, delivering 15 speakers in four hours. The young participants also tap into kinetic presentations on topics ranging from the science of yo-yos to space exploration.
“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.”