On Saturday, February 9, 2013, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a half-day TEDx event. Every free ticket was claimed within minutes the week prior, but 15 quick-fingered McKinneyites were lucky enough to log in before they were gone. Like all TEDx events, TEDTalks videos and live speakers and performances made up the self-organized program. The morning was chock-full of speakers and music.
Account Planner Kelly Mertesdorf’s favorite speaker was Theaster Gates, whose talk was called Creating Heat: The Artist as Catalyst. “I liked him best because he spoke about something that is relevant to what I’m working on for a client at McKinney: transforming communities through creativity.”
Community Manager Nick Faber said he most appreciated what Corey Ford had to say in his talk, Public Media and the Uses of Intentional Serendipity. “I really identified with his ‘drunken walk’ message, as someone who has unwittingly been on one my whole adult life. He made it clear that it’s OK to not know what your life plan is exactly, as long as you’re putting yourself in the right places. We often beat ourselves up over our career paths, and his simple message was a nice response to that.” It reminded Lex Jones, a media planner at McKinney, of a talk that Steve Jobs once gave “about how even the smallest of decisions had made an impact on where he was in life, and how not knowing — or not being sure you’re on the ‘right path’ — can sometimes give you ambition to strive for bigger and better things than if you just settle for the norm.”
Local chef Andrea Reusing, and 2011 winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast, spoke about our connection to the people who harvest (not just grow) our food in a talk she called Resetting the Table. “It was really touching and added a new component to my idea of what constitutes a community,” reflected Project Coordinator Julia Stanton, who was also impressed by the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ performance.
UNC graduate Allen Mask’s spoken word piece, Rebel Music, was another favorite for many McKinney attendees, most of whom found themselves talking about their TEDxUNC experience throughout the weekend. Watch a video summarizing TEDx UNC 2013 from The Daily Tar Heel here: www.dailytarheel.com/multimedia/16245