Megan Bruce and Anastasia Kouriatova jumped at the chance to host a TEDxWomen event when they would out that they could apply to host one around the same time the TEDWomen Global Conference was happening.
“I’m the co-chair of the Logistics Committee for WOMEN’S WAY’s Young Women’s Initiative, and of course, I’m a woman, so I’m really passionate about hearing new ideas to approach issues affecting women,” Bruce wrote in an email. “And we wanted to provide a platform to showcase some of the amazing things that women are doing in our community.”
So TEDxWalnutStWomen was born.
“I particularly love TEDx events and the fact that they’re organized by the community, for the community,” Bruce said. “I think it’s a pretty empowering experience, as a speaker, to not only be able to get up and present your idea and your story to your community, but also to the world, given the fact that all TEDx talks are recorded and uploaded to the TEDx YouTube channel.”
The event is part of a network of more than 150 TEDx events around the world that will take place within 48 hours of the 2015 TEDWomen global conference. Philadelphia’s event will take place at CityCoHo on May 30 and will include streamed talks from that conference in addition to a panel of prominent women speakers from the Philadelphia community.
Bruce added they selected the speakers with a lot of input from others as well as Google.
“We started out by selecting a few women who we already knew were doing amazing things, like my former colleague, Lauren Fine, who co-founded an amazing nonprofit called the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, and Laura Wass, the founder of WXYZ Jewelry, whose pieces have been worn by Beyonce and Lady Gaga,” Bruce said, adding that the Rad Girls Awards list was particularly helpful.
“We also asked a lot of people who they would recommend, and built out a list from there. The list continued to snowball as we connected with more and more people. So then it was just a matter of narrowing it down to which speakers were available and making sure that we had diversity among the talks,” she said.
In addition to the live and streamed talks, the TedXWalnutStWomen event’s post-event reception will give attendees the opportunity to pitch their own ideas – whether it be for a new start-up, a unique event, a side project, or anything that moves them and the community forward. The attendee with the strongest pitch will receive a small incubator grant and mentorship from event sponsor Monetate to put their plan into action.
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“In keeping with the spirit of TEDx events, Anastasia and I wanted this to be an immersive experience, and not a typical conference,” Bruce said. “Our attendees will be listening to other peoples’ ideas all day long, and so we thought that giving them an opportunity to talk back and pitch their own ideas would be pretty appealing. We ran this idea past Monetate, one of our sponsors, and they were equally excited about it. They’ll be judging the pitches and offering mentorship to the winner.”
Image via TEDxWalnutStWomen-30-
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