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TEDxBloomington: The Wisdom Of Play

TED, Technology Entertainment Design, is the annual four-day speakers event that takes place in California with the goal of presenting "Ideas Worth Spreading." The way it works is 50 speakers are invited to talk for 18 minutes during this curated conference. Since its inception in 1984, some 700 videos of TED Talks have been posted on its website free for the viewing.

A group of folks in Bloomington thinks is has some ideas worth spreading. They have organized an event in the spirit of TED that will bring together local, national, an international speakers for one day. TEDxBloomington: The Wisdom Of Play is the first such event in the state of Indiana.

Exchanging Ideas In Real Time

While it is possible to experience TED online through their vast library of videos, there is something magical about being in the audience for the complete event. According to the sponsorship coordinator for TEDxBloomington and Buskirk-Chumley Theater marketing director Maarten Bout, there is something inspiring about exchanging ideas immediately as you have them.

That, and making connections and networking is a perk of attending any conference. Bout says he is curious to see what happens after the event, "whether people will go out of the theater and start non-profits or go volunteer or go start a new business. Bloomington already there's a great culture of social engagement. Making sure those people get into the same room together, that has incredible potential."

Not Your Typical Audience Member

"The only thing that ties all of our attendees together is that they're all interested in ideas," says Luci Englert McKean, co-curator for TEDxBloomington. She imagines the audience will include a diverse cross-section of the Bloomington and Indiana University communities along with people who will be traveling to Bloomington specifically to attend the event.

According to the TEDxBloomington website, being a part of the audience is just as important as speaking on stage. McKean explains that this isn't the typical event, "where you go and you sit and you listen and you talk to the people you came with and you go home." Instead, she hopes attendees will share ideas and even enjoy lunch with folks they don't know.

"This really is an opening to creating a TEDxBloomington community," she says.

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