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August 27, 2019 | Tom Ballard

Inaugural “TEDxOakRidge” event set for September 10 at Ts117 Modern Co-Working

Registrations are now open for the inaugural “TEDxOakRidge” event set for 5 to 7 p.m. September 10 at Ts117 Modern Co-Working, 701 Scarboro Road. You can register at this link.

Daniel Hodge, a local entrepreneur who recently co-launched SeatsOpen (see our recent article here) and has been assisting Rick and Ryan Chinn with Ts117, is the force behind bringing the idea to the region.

Many readers may not be familiar with TED, a non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas, but you are probably familiar with “TED Talks” programming. These are usually short, powerful talks lasting 18 minutes or less. TED began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged Today, TED covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

In the case of “TEDx” sessions, they are organized independently under a free license granted by the TED organization which says they bring “the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe. TEDx events are organized by curious individuals who seek to discover ideas and spark conversations in their own community.”

That’s exactly what Hodge hopes to do with this first event in what he plans as a continuing series.

“A TEDx for this region will be vital in bringing together the diversity of industries and pursuits that comprise the larger Tennessee Valley,” he told us. “Emerging ideas and theories come from a lot of different directions in the area and that in and of itself is a pain point I believe a TEDx event can address.”

TEDxOakRidge draws on the very secrecy that was essential when Oak Ridge was created as part of the Manhattan Project. Hodge hopes that the initial event and subsequent ones will drive awareness of the innovative ideas coming out of the city that are impacting the nation and the world.

The September 10 agenda is still being finalized, but Hodge has lined-up three speakers thus far:

  • Dmitri Novikov, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Scientific Technologies, will speak on “Nuclear Fusion and Clean, Limitless Energy”;
  • Justin West, a local entrepreneur, will talk about “Closed-Loop Agricultural Systems”; and
  • Yours truly will talk about the “Entrepreneurial Nature and Impact of Oak Ridge.”

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