After several years of silence, TEDxPhiladelphia reemerged in the public eye this April in the form of bimonthly discussion-based salons.
But what of the conference, with the talks that make up the raison d’être of the TED world? Philly’s last such event was held in 2015, with a theme of “And Justice for All.” Before that, 2014 heard talks on “The New Workshop of the World.” And 2011 and 2010’s themes were “The City” and “Right Here, Right Now,” respectively.
Past organizer Michelle Freeman cited volunteer “burnout” of the reasons the conference was put on pause. That fire’s been reignited, though: On May 15, 2019, TEDxPhiladelphia will host its first citywide conference in four years.
The theme: “Unintended Consequences.” Here’s what that means, according to organizers:
“The moment that we recognize the impact of an unintended consequence, the story, formerly hidden, unfolds before us. Ideas that arise from unintended consequences are deeply personal. An unintended consequence forces us to reassess our assumptions and challenge our narratives.”
Volunteer co-organizer Chris Anderson said the theme was picked after a public TEDxPhiladelphia survey’s results indicated that something related to “social impact” would be the best-received. Past sponsor and consultant Ed Tettemer then facilitated a planning session with organizers to help narrow the theme.
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One example of an “unintended consequence” worth hearing about? Anderson mentioned Philly Free Streets — the city’s first open streets event, held in Fall 2016 after Pope Francis’ 2015 visit showed a group of dedicated urbanists how much joy could result from a few carless blocks.
Know someone with an interesting story to share on the topic? Or think you can withstand 15 minutes onstage? (Of course you can; I believe in you.) The application/nomination form is open now through Sept. 30.
P.S. The next TEDxPhiladelphia salon will be held in August, with a date and theme TBD.-30-
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