Technology and creativity were the focus of a sold-out TEDx event in Manchester Village last Saturday. The day-long conference — the first of its kind in the Southern Vermont town — took place at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy. It featured 10 speakers with backgrounds in education, economics, business, social science and the arts, all of whom spoke for 18 minutes about "The Future of Creativity".
The nonprofit TED Talks started 26 years ago as a conference for professionals involved in Technology, Entertainment and Design. Now, all of the talks are accessible online. Some highly polished TED presentations have been viewed millions of times.
TED has also leant its name to "TEDx" talks — the "x" indicates that the talk has been independently organized. TED reports that more than 5000 of these gathering have been convened across the globe. Anyone can put together a TEDx event — at least, anyone who follows the guidelines, comes up with an exceptional theme, gets approval from TED, knows enough people with “Ideas Worth Spreading" and has the space to host them. "Think of TEDx as hosting an awesome dinner party, with great food, inspirational videos, brilliant speakers and mind-blowing conversation," suggests the TED website.
But TEDx talks, while similar in scope to the original series, are not always of quite the same caliber. I found that to be the case in Manchester. I was inspired by the majority of the speakers, though a couple left me scratching my head.