TEDxCincy Draws 1,000 Passionate Locals

More than 1,000 slick-dressed professionals, ranging from ambitious youngsters to seasoned gurus, gathered at the Aronoff Center for the Arts yesterday for the sold-out TEDxCincy conference. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit set of conferences held in the spirit of ideas worth spreading. TEDx is an offshoot of TED created in 2009 to serve as a platform for self-organized local events that promote conversation and discourse amongst members of a community, who are encouraged to share their ideas to create their own TED-like experience.—-

The event is also intended to be a powerful motivator for the community through the sharing of diverse passion, which was the theme of Cincinnati’s first ever TEDx conference.

TEDxCincy was organized by three TED supporters from the LPK design firm and one from Procter & Gamble who began organizing early this year and managed to round up more than 20 speakers who've proven to be successful in the pursuit of their passions.

Speakers included Dhani Jones (linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, pictured above), Adrian Parr (associate professor for the School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning at UC), Ben Nicholson (creative director at Lightborne video production), Dr. Herman Mays (curator of zoology at Cincinnati Museum Center), Margy Waller (vice president of ArtsWave, formerly the Fine Arts Fund), Dave Knox (chief marketing officer for Rockfish Interactive) and Mark Jefferys (brand manager at P&G) in addition to over a dozen other professionals fueled by passion and creative thinking.

The full-day conference was divided into four 75 minute sessions: Mindshift, Imagination, Innovation and Action. Each speaker was given a maximum of 18 minutes to expound on their ideas, covering a wide spectrum of interest. Brad King, assistant professor of journalism at Ball State University (and former CityBeat staff writer), discussed how emerging technologies are changing the ways we tell stories. Jeff Edmondson, executive director of Strive, highlighted the potential for in-depth personal data to effectively support the success of children as they grow. Shasta Bray, a zoologist and certified interpretive trainer, discussed how personal encounters with wildlife can foster emotional connections that may inspire more people to take conservation action.

In essence, each speaker was given the opportunity to express his or her passion in a way that might inspire attendees to support their own progressive efforts or at the very least inspire them to fervently pursue their own career-oriented passions.

Throughout the event, attendees were encouraged to share their experience at TEDxCincy via Twitter.

TEDxCincy was one out of more than 1,000 independently organized TEDx conferences organized in the United States this year.

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