TEDxBoca Raton coming to Mizner
“If you’ve had sex, you know how to sell” trumpets the video from a speaker at TEDxBocaRaton.
Mace Horoff won’t be back this year, but organizers hope they got your attention for the second annual explosion of ideas themed “Breaking Barriers,” from 4 to 10:30 p.m. March 26 in the tented Mizner Park Amphitheater.
Speakers are booked at this independently produced but TED sanctioned event. Each one has an idea worth spreading in 18 minutes or less that may challenge the listeners’ perspective, according to Becky Woodbridge, volunteer organizer. This will be her fifth TEDx.
“It’s not just about the speakers, but the TED experience,” Woodbridge said. “TED is socially conscious, environmentally conscious and a unique way of doing things. Last year we had a picnic with groups of six people who didn’t know each other, so we ask attendees to dress casual.”
In fact, last year’s TEDx at Florida Atlantic University attracted 500 people. This year they’re shooting for 1,000, she said. Tickets are $75, $30 for students at tedxbocaraton.com/tickets-2/. Admission includes food and beverage.
What will people do for six and a half hours?
The first hour, 4 to 5 p.m. is our check-in, so the whole area is engaging, conversations between people who like to learn. The speakers are 5 to 6:30 p.m. and a dinner break is from 6:30 to 8. The seating is very eclectic with sofas, bean bag chairs, high tops. The second session starts at 8 to 9:30 and a reception follows.
Speakers include a former blogger for Skype, the author of “Living Your Best Life” and DJ Crunchtime, known for mixing music genres. How do you pick them?
I vet speakers who apply online and I look for someone who has done something extraordinary and has talent as well. I go through about 100, a combination of applicants and speakers I seek out. I coach people how to produce a TEDx talk.
Who goes to TEDx?
People who like to learn and are like minded. We get college kids and people between 30 and 50. Last year, the TEDx event probably only had 10 seniors. They may not know what TED is. This is a speaker series and they can relate to that. We’re doing postcards.
Why do you want to broaden your demographic?
We want people to see what’s it’s all about. We want to educate people with our talks. We want our speakers to have a core message, that idea to share with our audience to help people change their perspective, or something they never thought of before to stimulate ideas.
Give us an example of a stimulating idea.
Rita Barreto Craig talks about traditions and how they build connections. Jason “Farmer Jay” McCobb specializes in urban gardening and how to start a local food system. We knew that Max Planck [Florida Institute for Neuroscience] had neuroscientists that do amazing things, so I called and said, ‘Who do you have to fit [their theme] Breaking Barriers and I picked Rebekah Corlew, [a Ph.D].
You’re a nonpaid volunteer co-producing with Shlial O’Neal. How did you get so involved?
I got introduced to TED by someone sending me a video. About five years ago a university asked to do a TED-like event…and they realized there was something there, so they branded them to TEDx. [X means independently organized under a free license granted by TED. TED was founded in 1984 and the acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design].
If You Go
What: TEDx Boca Raton
When: 4 to 10:30 p.m. March 26
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, at north end of Mizner Park. Amphitheater is tented.
Tickets: $75 or $30 for students at tedxbocaraton.com/
· No Bodies Crew, urban performance artists;
· DJ Crunchtime, mixes music genres;
· Devon Bandison, high-performance coach, speaker and leader;
· Laura Berman Fortgang, author of five books including “Living Your Best Life”
· Charlie Siemon, attorney and land planner
· Barbara Schmidt, founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life;
· Rita Barreto Craig, who inspires with message of the importance of traditions;
· Dan Abbate, entrepreneur in support of automation and technology
· Brandon Goldberg, 8-year-old prodigy pianist;
· Avish Parashar, comedian;
· Pastor Billy Thompson, “America’s Champion for Change”;
· Terry Brock, former chief enterprise blogger for Skype;
· Rebekah Corlew, builds bridges between the scientific community and the general public;
· Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, CEO of Zappy Inc. a nutraceutical company;
· Jason “Farmer Jay” McCobb, expert in sustainable agriculture;
· Ocèane Boulais, electrical engineering student at FAU, Extreme Engineer of the Year;
· Max Torres, electrical engineering student at FAU researching renewable energy