July 06, 2011

Simulcast to focus on innovation, technology

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An international non-profit organization focusing on technology, innovation and the exchange of ideas is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale through a live-streaming event next week and free tickets are now available.

Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) launched in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those fields to share great ideas. It has since expanded and evolved into a global organization encompassing individuals from various arenas. They gather in person or via the Internet to share ideas. TED is essentially a creative and scientific clearinghouse that hosts an annual conference in Long Beach, Calif.

There, about 50 chosen speakers get just 18 minutes or less to share with the 1,000 or more in attendance relevant concepts about science, business, the arts and world issues. Nobel laureates and acclaimed experts, visionaries and artisans, and even innovators famous or little heard of have shared their insights. Event attendance is limited and exclusive so the TED group makes videos of the speakers available for free viewing on its website at http://www.ted.com/.

In recent years, the organization added other conferences including TEDGlobal, set this year in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a similar format and international themes. It is this conference that SIUC’s Southern Illinois Research Park and TEDxSIUC are bringing via satellite feed to the campus from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13. TEDxSIUC is an independently organized TED Sustainability, Innovation, University and Community event according to Frank D. Smith, a senior information systems and technologies student who is coordinating the program.

Smith said the broadcast is the first on the SIUC campus and a rare opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to participate in two sessions of TEDGlobal 2011. The broadcast will be in the large conference room at the SIUC Southern Illinois Research Park, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale.

“This is all about innovation and good ideas and there’s a definite focus on sustainability too,” Smith said.

He said this month’s simulcast will be a treat for those already acquainted with TED as well as those who are just discovering the group and its far-reaching and significant pool of talent and resources. In addition, Smith said plans are in the works to bring a live TEDx program to campus this fall, complete with local speakers and events, and this live-streaming simulcast of TEDGlobal 2011 will serve as a premiere for the fall showcase. TEDxSIUC intends, in keeping with the TED motto “Ideas Worth Spreading,” to share through the event noteworthy innovations and ideas from the region with the rest of the planet, Smith said.

To obtain a free ticket for the July 13 TEDxSIUC simulcast presentation, visit the ticket page at http://tedxsiuc.eventbrite.com/.

For more information about the SIUC event, contact Smith at frank@underbrain.org or Kyle Harfst, the University’s director of technology and enterprise development, at harfst@siu.edu or by calling 618/453-3427. Or, check out the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/TEDxSIUC/128533497230388?sk=wall.

You can learn more about TED and even view videos of previous presentations online at www.ted.com.