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Tag, you’re it:

Third annual Tedx Grand Rapids to feature new, innovative ideas


For the third straight year, TedxGrandRapids will be looking for the top creative minds around Grand Rapids for a day-long conference created by Grand Valley State University’s own Bill Holsinger-Robinson.

“Local organizers from around the world can start these events with some of them being small and some being large,” said Adam Clarke, application and attendee lead for TedxGrandRapids. “…TedxGrandRapids has been trying to get the innovators of West Michigan in one place and we have 750 people at our event.”

The event, which will be at the Civic Theatre on May 9, 2013, will feature presentations, performances, and conversations for those around Grand Rapids who are interested in sharing and hearing about progressive thinking.

Those interested in participating in the event will need to apply, Clarke said. Applications are open until Feb. 28 and then after that invitations will be sent to those who have been chosen to attend.

“We are trying to bring unique world experiences and perspectives to Grand Rapids and what we are really trying to do and why we are talking about the application process now is because we want the event and the people in the event to have diverse perspectives,” Clarke said. “We are reaching out to business owners, to non-profit, to anyone in the arts community, to students and trying to get a whole mix in that room.”

GVSU professor Cheryl Boudreaux of the sociology department has attended previous Tedx conferences and she feels that students could really benefit from the event.

“I think that what is in it for the students as well as the professors would be getting together with a group of people who are so excited and so interested in ideas for nothing else but the sake of the ideas,” Boudreaux said. “They are not studying for a test, they are not anything like that. They just want to share ideas and get new ideas about how to do new things and they want to know what is happening in the world.”

Boudreaux said that what impressed her the most about the Ted events is the array of ideas and speakers featured at the conference.

“They just mix up so many different ideas and businesses so you basically have an audience in a large auditorium and you get these live speakers who are presenting to you what is their idea for the best way to change the world,” Boudreaux said.

Each year the conference has a theme that is followed. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Tag, you’re it.’

“It’s really talking about being a leader and it’s kind of a call to action,” Clarke said. “It’s like saying, ‘tag, you’re it’ to try to empower people to do something different and think uniquely and get active.”

Organizers of TedxGrandRapids are currently working on lining up speakers for the event but they will not be releasing the names until the time of the conference. In previous years, the conferences have featured speakers such as musician Garrett Borns, Sam Harrington of Ecovative Design LLC, and author Steven Rosenbaum.

Although the event will only accept 750 applicants to view the live conference, www.tedxgrandrapids.org will feature a live feed of each presentation so viewers can watch when and where they can.

“Go and watch Ted talk on the youtube videos and really get a sense of what we’re talking about when we talk about ideas,” Boudreaux said. “…If you like thinking and talking to other thinkers, this is a giant think tank so I think they would enjoy participating in all of that because I enjoy that.”

For more information about the upcoming event or to apply, visit www.tedxgrandrapids.org.
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