On Friday, April 8, TEDxGreenville will bring 23 compelling speakers and performers to the Salvation Army Kroc Center in downtown Greenville. The day-long annual conference is known for taking attendees on an intellectual and emotional roller coaster with presenters who delight, challenge, question, answer, disrupt, and enlighten.
Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, March 9. A link will be made available that day at tedxgreenville.com/tickets.
“Planning for the 2016 conference was intense, with over 170 talented nominees,” said Caroline Caldwell-Richmond, Curator. “The program team’s rigorous vetting process meant asking as many questions as possible of the nominees and each other to ensure a conference that — through ideas and stories — provokes thought, confronts biases, and provides glimpses into the work and minds of regional activists, artists, athletes, scholars, educators, counselors, and architects.”
A free preview party is planned for Tuesday evening, March 15th, at Zen. Hosted by the conference emcee, Meg Pierson, the informal program will introduce select speakers and performers to a small audience. The public is invited to attend, but registration is required via the organization’s Eventbrite account.
TEDxGreenville, TEDx, and TED
Caroline said every talk and performance is offered in a spirit of growth and camaraderie that’s been integral to the TEDxGreenville experience since the organization’s first conference in 2010. One of more than 3,300 TEDx conferences hosted worldwide this year, TEDxGreenville was South Carolina’s first TEDx event, and remains the state’s most successful.
TED events are multidisciplinary affairs that bring together the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design with compelling ideas. TEDxGreenville operates independently within a license from TED to host a yearly event in the same format and spirit of the large TED conferences.
2016 Theme Highlights an Individual’s Power to Create Change
This year’s TEDxGreenville theme is “Kaleidoscope.”
The idea came to Caroline almost immediately as she initiated planning stages. The diverse colors and objects which make up the fluid, variegated image represent us as individuals, each bringing a unique value and significance.
“We look through the same cylinder of the kaleidoscope,” she said, “blending our individual perspectives, thoughts, and energies to create new paradigms and journeys. The light and beautiful patterns represent the power of individual influence and change — each of us has the ability to create, recreate, and reflect the parts of ourselves and our psyches to help catalyze ‘ideas worth spreading.’ ”
Marta Carvalhal is a licensed independent social worker who has been practicing in clinical social work for 10 years. She specializes in psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and borderline personality disorder. She offers insight into a common yet rarely discussed practice.
Daniel Cloy has defied tremendous obstacles in his life, and through them gained a unique and powerful mentality. He has learned to bridge drive, technology, and design to demonstrate ultimate problem solving. His approach to dealing with failure provides a compelling message that each one of us can use to push our boundaries.
Marlanda Dekine (a.k.a. Sapient Soul) is a licensed master social worker. She is the Executive Director of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit recreating community, and Spoken Word Spartanburg, a community-minded, spoken word poetry organization. Her work combines education, social activism, and art to process that invites activism and the rebuilding of “community” via conversations and the development of “safe space.”
Tanika Dillard is author of “Building a Family Breaks my Heart,” and has written about her own harrowing experiences of loss. She is a parent facilitator for an infant and pregnancy loss support group.
Ben Ebel works to engage students at engineering and design schools across the country as an ambassador for Michelin North America. He leads the Michelin Challenge Design program and has a dynamic portfolio of his own design work from conceptual work to in market designs used by Mercedes-Benz.
M. Carmela Epright is a Professor of Philosophy at Furman University where she studies the criminally mentally ill and the justice system, and is known as an expert in bioethics.
Leo Ferguson is a retired systems engineer who has turned his interests toward improving his community. He has developed a model that combines social justice and change, economic development, community engagement, and technology. He has set his sights on re-establishing the village concept where individuals from all levels of the social strata come together for the common good.
Fire-Brown is the founder of the Atlanta-based self-help group Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. A powerful speaker and adovocate for those who have not yet found their voice, she is committed to the mission of helping others heal themselves by moving past their histories of pain and into a future filled with emotional peace and joy.
Rebecca Heiss envisions education that centers around testing different passions and ideas as early as high school. She is a “Science Pro” at NEXT high school in Greenville, where she is putting her ideas of education to life.
Kenya Jackson-Saulters is an author, speaker, and founder of the Outdoor Journal Tour, which uses outdoor adventure, meditation and writing as tools for self discovery. She has developed great skill in explaining the obstacles that we create in the journeys through life.
Megan Johnson is an influencer, a mother, a wife, and an agent for activism without borders. Megan is woman of deep conviction. She moves past the typical. She acts as a conduit for change and action. She has the ability to force us to understand that there are often correlations between concepts that aren’t automatically seen or known.
Matteel Jones went from being a non-traditional student at a technical college to becoming a Vice President of Student Services. She is an innovative storyteller with the power to inspire and encourage others to reach their full potential.
Julian E. Nixon is an Associate Professor, Department Head of Biological Sciences at Greenville Technical College and educational entrepreneur, with a desire to help students to master math and science. He will share ideas for easily shaping young minds.
Jez Rose is a psychologist and best-selling author who comes from the United Kingdom. His unique blend of academia, business professionalism, and behavior expertise teamed with equal parts of humility, warmth, and hilarity creates a wildly different perspective on what makes people tick.
Ame Sanders is working towards building a more inclusive South Carolina. She is a former Michelin executive, graduate of Furman Diversity Leader Initiative, and founder of newly formed SC Benefits Corporation, State of Inclusion.
William Schlein is an architect who considers himself a ‘healthcare provider,’ and a fourth generation healthcare professional. He has a 22-year career working to build various types of healthcare facilities — hospitals, clinics, medical labs, etc. His company, Anthrotects, approaches design by intertwining anthropology, architecture, and health.
The BattleAxe Band is the only all-female, old-time string band in the SC Upstate, and continues the musical traditions of this region. They are best known for hard-driving old-time tunes and songs with powerful vocal harmonies, as well as folk, gospel, Americana, blues and original songs.
Lindsey Lyla Flower is a spoken word artist who writes from her soul. She often times looks for her inspiration in the events of the society or she takes a page from the events in her own life.
Hillary Keane Project plays an eclectic blend of blues, folk, and pop. Her voice is a melodic overlay that keeps you fully focused on her meaningful and mesmerizing lyrics.
Opera Noire of New York (ONNY) is a performing arts company, as well as a resource and networking organization. They frequently partner with the music divisions of South Carolina colleges and universities including Wofford and Furman. ONNY members have performed in some of the world’s leading opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Milan’s La Scala, Paris’ Téâtre du Châtelet, and Berlin’s Deutsche Opera.
Kevin Spears plays the kalimba, a traditional African thumb piano, in a very nontraditional way, using looping and other technology to create a full band sound all on his own. His playing speed is compared to classical concert pianists.
Benjamin Starr (Fitzgerald Wiggins) was nominated this year as one of the top hip-hop artists for 2015 by the national blog Very Smart Brothers. He uses hip-hop to entertain, educate, and inspire.
Song Azziz Tucker is a 16-year-old dance prodigy. She has been performing since age six, and currently attends the Dekalb School of Fine Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.
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