TEDxGrandRapids opens up applications for invite-only event


TEDxGrandRapids is licensed by the New York-based nonprofit TED Conferences. Photo via fb.com

TEDxGrandRapids is scheduled for May 9 this year, but applications to attend the event devoted to “ideas worth spreading” are being accepted now through Feb. 28.

The 2013 roster of speakers is still being finalized for the full-day event, which is being held on Thursday, May 9. This year’s theme is "Tag – You’re It," which is described as a playful way to invite individuals to get in the game, make new connections and be a catalyst in the community.

TEDxGrandRapids will take place at the Grand Rapids Civic Theater, and seating is available for more than 700 attendees. Unlike other conferences, TED events are by invitation only, but anyone can apply for a seat in the audience. The application process helps ensure diversity, which, in turn, helps encourage thoughtful dialogue and new connections within the community.

TEDx events are local, independently organized events take their inspiration from the annual TED conference held in California. TED — which stands for technology, entertainment and design — attracts some of the most innovative people in the world to its stage to present for just under 20 minutes about a variety of cutting edge and thought-provoking topics. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Grand Rapids held its first TEDx event three years ago, and it has become one of the organization’s most successful programs. Past speakers have included Nathan Waterhouse, Linda Ragsdale, LZ Granderson, Carla Hartman, Andrew Dent and several others. In addition to live speakers, there will TEDTalks videos shown, which are recordings from previous TED conferences.

Anyone interested in attending the conference can apply at the TEDxGrandRapids website. Applications are reviewed with the purpose of inviting individuals who will contribute to an “ecosystem of remarkable people.” Applicants who are selected will be invited to purchase a ticket to the event. 

Tickets cost $105. Invitations are offered on a rolling basis, and additional invites will be extended if tickets are not purchased. The best way to earn an invite is to apply early.

For those who don’t get a seat in the theater, all is not lost. TEDxGrandRapids talks are live streamed, as well as filmed, and made available at www.tedxgrandrapids.org.

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