Inspirational talks of TEDx Asheville set to return in January 2015

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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tedxasheville_2015TEDx Asheville is returning in 2015.

The local version of TED talks first came to Asheville in 2009. The event, filled with inspirational talks about “ideas worth spreading,” was popular in Asheville for several years, but it didn’t get off the ground in 2013 or ’14.

Brett McCall, one of the key organizers of TEDx Asheville, told me earlier this week that he’s teaming up with organizers of the UNC Asheville-based TED talks to bring back TEDx Asheville. The event will involve fewer speakers (about five to eight) and will be held in a smaller venue (the Altamont Theatre), he said. Attendance will be limited to about 100 seats. McCall hopes that area artists and entrepreneurs will turn out.

The speakers and performers will be announced in coming weeks, McCall said. The TEDx Asheville 2015 theme is “exposed,” says McCall. “We want people to be revealed as vulnerable. We think there’s power in that,” he said. “We want people to be humble and talk about how they reached for success.”

McCall says he’s excited about the return of the event and still sees a place for them on the local networking scene. “There’s still a place for the creative culture to come together,” he says.

What are TED talks? Here’s the explainer:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

More details as I get them. Meantime, go here for TEDxAsheville tickets.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Christina January 22, 2015

    Too bad about TEDx Asheville’s uncertain future… I wanted to attend the 2015 event (which I didn’t even hear about until the last minute) but when I tried to buy tickets it was not a straightforward process – they expected would-be attendees to not APPLY for the privilege of being able to buy tickets, but also answer the question “what are you willing to pay?” Plus there were all these sections to fill out to convey one’s worthiness of being afforded the privilege to purchase. Alas, I have a business to run + an actual life to live as a self-respecting human being and just couldn’t stop my day to spend upwards of an hour compiling my life’s story to enter this contest of sorts. I just wanted to buy 2 tickets!

  2. AVL December 29, 2014

    TEDxAsheville has completely missed the mark and intent with the purpose and mission of TED. I am embarrassed for them. I don’t remember a community wide call for speakers.

    I guarantee you it is the same incestual group of so-called ‘elitists’ that organize all the pomp and circumstance events with no real community benefits.

    1. Jack January 10, 2015

      I’m one of the organizers! If you’ve got questions, let me know!

      -Jack Derbyshire, License Holder for TEDxAsheville

  3. jaybird December 26, 2014

    TEDxAVL as far as I can discern didn’t even put out a call for presenters. From this early stage it seems the whole gig is an insular circlejerk which does not represent the TED vision or the previous local iteration. What a tremendous disappointment, and a joke if you’re really going to talk about vulnerability by protecting your event from failing by selecting your audience from among the elite of the Asheville intelligentsia. Please.

  4. Nate December 26, 2014

    Just FYI, the post says, “Go here for tickets” but there aren’t actually any links to the TEDx Asheville page in the relevant sentence, or anywhere else in the article.

    TED has always been an elitist boondoggle, but TEDx has at least seemed to be a much more grassroots affair. Restricting attendance to a (self-) selected creative elite seems to defeat the entire educational outreach focus of the event. All I can figure is that they somehow got access to the Altamont space for free, and that the bottom line is more important than actually getting the “message” out.

    I also think that including hipster pubes in their primary promotional image says a lot about just how inclusive the event is intended to be . . .

  5. Lauren December 26, 2014

    I was delighted to see TedX returning and went to the website to secure tickets. Let me see if I have this right….I HAVE TO APPLY FOR TICKETS? I have to answer questions about how creative I am and how creative would my friends say I am???? Are you SERIOUS?????

    I am being “judged” by WHOMEVER about whether I am WORTHY of tickets?

    Sadly, I found myself answering all these ridiculous questions and CAUGHT MYSELF. Delete Delete Delete. I have no interest in being involved with a group that literally CHERRY PICKS their audience. I feel certain this is specific to Asheville.

    Good luck with that. How nice to be surrounded only with those who are deemed “equal” to you.

  6. ashevillain December 26, 2014

    Did the Altamont Theatre not close on 12/14/14 as previously announced?


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