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The third time is the charm for TEDx San Antonio

October 17, 2012

Audience consensus confirmed last Saturday’s 3rd annual TEDx San Antonio was a hit. “100 times better than last year’s #TEDxSA. Lots of innovative and positive thinkers.” tweeted @dougcohenmiller “Talk about being indulgent – a whole day devoted to listening and learning! What a gift!” said Lady Ray Romano.

Several years ago when I first talked with Firecat Studios Susan Price about TEDx, she called TED talks ‘brain candy.’ This year, the ‘San Antonio Sampler’ was a delicious assortment. As twenty-two speakers each took the stage with their own unique ideas to share, we heard about the connection between nature, environment and the human soul. We were given encouragement for living our life’s passion and said ‘yes’ to changing ourselves and the world.

Since I live-tweeted the whole show–a performance I will not retweet–I tried to pick out the nougats, uh nuggets. Really, sitting in the audience is the only way to make it an experience–which is the whole point. But, still, here are a few things I learned at #tedxsa

  • Education should include global competence–Dr. Shari Albright
  • San Antonio is the go-to city in the U.S. for military medicine–Col. Todd Rassmussen
  • More trees enable safer neighborhoods, healthier lives, and more intelligent and attentive learners–Paul Johnson
  • There are billion and billion of promiscuous bacteria and we don’t stand a change without new antibiotic research–Dr. Karl Klose
  • Life is short, build a ranch, and pick your bull wisely!–Linda Perez
  • Broadband access is our digital future–Leticia Ozuna
  • Being silent helps you become a better listener–Gage Paine
  • The first sound you hear is a beat–Dale Monnin–who gave us all drums and had us beat the heck out of them–so much for silence!

Check the TEDXSanAntonio website for links to pictures and the TEDxSA videos which will be live in a few weeks.


About TED and TEDx

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Tedx, x = independently organized event, that brings people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxSanAntonio is small group of organized and volunteers licensed by TED to hold San Antonio’s TEDx event.

About Laura Carter aka Beyond Paychecks

San Antonio activist and nonprofit veteran Laura Carter believes in enabling the community to work from the heart, not just the wallet. Laura is currently Communications Director at Providence Catholic School where her job includes working with traditional, creative and social media public relations and marketing.

Photo credit. Paul Johnson with tree, Charles Mims

Gage Paine featured picture and Dale Monnin with drums, Davis Staedtler

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  • Bobbi Blowhard

    Meh, not so much. TEDx 2012 was a huge letdown. Laura Carter has a different opinion, since she was part of the team that put TEDx together this year. The problem with TEDx 2012 was the programming itself: not at all inspiring. The Programming Committee has a LOT of work to do to make next year’s event actually “TED” worthy. The problem wasn’t the technical difficulties that delayed the start of TEDx San Antonio by an hour (though this is really inexcusable for a confab with the “T” meant to be “technology”). The problem wasn’t the bloated egos you could find everywhere you turned in the audience or at the breaks, with blowhards making their attendance at TEDx the opportunity to solicit your resume for their own recruiting efforts or tell you about how wonderful their life’s work is in wedding photography or unpublished romance novels. The problem was TEDx itself – in order to be “invited” to spend $50 to attend TEDx San Antonio, you had to answer a few thoughtful questions that made you think this would be a great way to spend 10 or so hours on a Saturday. Big disappointment. Really only 2 or 3 (about 10%) of the presentations would be considered “TED” worthy: I don’t care to hear about how to hug a tree, or care for earthworms, or why a city council member wants to use TED as a platform (with an insanely weak argument) for subsidized broadband access. Once again, meh. Use your time wisely next year, because you cannot get your time back. Wait for the videos online, and pick the best 2 or 3. And donate the $50 you might spend on TEDx San Antonio to something worth caring about.

  • Laura Carter

    Thanks for your comment. Feedback is good. And, I forgot to say that both “political speakers” were not what I would have considered TED worthy either.

  • Laura Carter

    Hmm, after a bit more thought about your comment Ms. Blowhard, let me say that yes, I was involved, but had nothing to do with choosing the speakers. I had plenty of complaints about the 2011 event, like the predominately male speakers and the technology. I wrote those complaints in my wrap-up post.
    I really did enjoy the day. I thought the audience reception was good and the program, as a whole, flowed at a smoother pace.
    Why don’t you volunteer to help with next year’s event and address your issues to make the TEDxSanAntonio event better?!

  • Tyler Durden

    Bobby Blowhard (ha!), your criticisms generally apply to TED in general and have been voiced multiple times. Indeed, I can’t say I disagree. But I view it as an acceptable tradeoff, not as a clear verdict – yes, there is a lot of smugness and self-congratulation going on, but there is also an demonstrably desireable effect on the community – given the atomized and isolated lives we live, is it not prefereable to have the occasionial opportunity to meet and share ideas in a format that has been proven succesful, even if the branding can get annoying and the sense of self-importance can get out of hand? I enjoyed the talks, and I’m glad that there was an audience (myself included) that was exposed to ideas or problems that thay may not have thought of or encountered on their own.

  • TeddyTryHard

    TEDx is about sharing ideas and taking action. Sounds like you have ideas so time to take action. You could make 2013 (even) better than 2012. Be the change you want to see. Or just leave comments. Ether way.

  • Susan Price

    What topics would have been TED-worthy, by your own measure? Do you know of these types of ideas springing up in and around San Antonio, will you help us connect with them? We’re a volunteer organization, and welcome your help to maximize the value of the event, as well as everyone’s time during the day.

  • Laura Carter

    #teachers Here’s an infographic from Allison Morris and about the value of #TEDtalks