The global academic conference series known as TED, or Technology Entertainment and Design, will be making a stop in Santa Monica at SaMoHi on Sept. 24, where the organization’s offshoot TEDx will be hosting a half-day event for high school students in the region.
Carrying the theme of “Define Yourself,” the conference event has lined up several leadership-inspiring speakers such as Figure 18 founder Michael Weiss, passionate activist Cindy Gallop, songwriter and guitarist Jason Pitts, entrepreneurial fontographer and kite maker Andrew Byrom, and paralyzed graffiti artist Mick Ebeling.
The conference was brought to SaMoHi by organizer Felicia Kamriani and co-organizer Kate Bristow.
While most TED events are one-off events, Kamriani said she hoped to bring monthly events to the Santa Monica area through TEDx.
“The speakers (of the Sept. 24 event) are going to be from all over. The topics are ranging from arts to science… to film,” Kamriani told The Mirror. “(Also,) we’re doing things a little differently. We’re not having a once-a-year event like most TEDx events, but we’ll have a lot of them. So, we’ll create events every other month.”
She also added she hoped to recruit as many as 500 students from schools such as SaMoHi and Palisades High to “experience TED.”
Bristow said the Sept. 24 conference would be tailor-made for the high school students.
“It’s not designed for an adult audience, in the sense that the topics are going to be really controversial,” she told The Mirror.
Both Kamriani and Bristow said they hoped to see the high school attendees take an active part in being front-and-center at the conference, not only in sharing unique stories with classmates, but also performing entertainment items.
Consistent with the TED brand of conferences, the TEDx at SaMoHi will emphasize “ideas worth spreading” and be modeled after the organization’s themed events focused on providing a forum for collective discussions on a vast array of topics, including research, technology, science, and entertainment, among others.
The “Define Yourself” conference on Sept. 24 aims to provide local high school students a glimpse of the opportunities potentially awaiting them soon after graduation.
“Basically what we want to bring from TED is the idea of inspiring speeches about defining yourself,” said Hunter Conrad, SaMoHi’s Associated Student Body president. “It’s giving kids an opportunity to listen about how they are going to define themselves in the future.”
Conrad also said by hosting a TED event at SaMoHi, many of the high-profile personalities attached to the group might be easier to access.
High-profile personalities who have served as key past speakers at TED conferences included President Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, author Malcolm Gladwell, as well as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brey.
A unique element of the TED conferences and discussion sessions is that each speaker is allowed no more than 18 minutes to present his or her unique ideas to the group.
Many of the conferences are streamed online for free.
TED was founded in 1984 and is owned by the private non-profit organization Sapling Foundation.
TEDx’s “Define Yourself” at SaMoHi will be held on Sept. 24 at the school’s Barnum Hall Theatre.
To attend the conference, students can register and adults can purchase tickets by visiting the group’s website at www.ted.com/tedx/events/2600.
Registration will range from $50 to $75 per person for adults.
The event’s local sponsors include Cobá, Agua’s Frescas, Coco Café, O.N.E. Coconut Water, and the Co-Opportunity Market.
Contact Parimal M. Rohit: Parimal@smmirror.com
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