TEDx Grand Rapids

4 Reasons We're Counting Down to TEDxGrandRapids

Four years ago CQL helped found TEDxGrandRapids and since then has stayed involved with the event as sponsors, volunteers, and participants. I personally appreciate the support from CQL because I’ve been on the event’s planning committee all 4 years.

When the event first started, we were a group with a goal: To organize one of the top TEDx events in the world. I may be a little biased, but I believe we’ve done just that. TEDxGrandRapids is a great organization to be a part of and sometimes I can’t believe what a team of 30 volunteers can accomplish. 

Everyone comes to TEDxGR for different reasons, whether it’s the speakers, networking opportunities, or the change in pace from their daily routine. As the event and the excitement around it continue to grow each year, there are always reasons to participate in TEDxGR, whether in person or via the livestream. Here are my top reasons to be excited about TEDxGR this year:

    1. The Speakers. The speakers for this year’s event were just announced last week, so it’s a very exciting time for everyone involved. True to the theme of this year’s event, What’s Connected, the speakers come from a range of backgrounds. They include a U of M professor, a Digital Strategist, the Chief Whip of the United Democratic Front, business founders, evangelists, an expert on bars and cocktails, a retired U.S. Navy Captain and overall a group of bright, big thinking individuals who have made a huge impact on their given fields. Not to mention one of the most exciting speakers…
    3. Richard Saul Wurman. Yes, the founder of TED himself will be speaking at the event his year. This is reason enough to attend. In addition to founding TED, Wurman also invented the field of Information Architecture and has written over 80 books on topics ranging from healthcare, Information Architecture, to travel.
    5. Sustainability. We put a lot of effort into ensuring our event is completely sustainable. We’ve set a goal to make the event completely carbon neutral, because we want the event and the ideas shared here to have only a positive impact on our community. The Sustainability Lead, Gayle Debruyn, will be posting a blog explaining all the steps TEDxGR has taken to reach this goal.
    7. Inspiration and motivation. The organizers of TEDxGR hope the event will, by listening to the stories of people who are enacting change, inspire people in the Grand Rapids community to take action and find new ways to make a difference. We hope the event will inspire you to make a change, start a new program, just DO something.

Not every speaker will relate to every single audience member. I’ve learned from past years that each speaker connects with the audience differently, but having such a range of topics on stage should guarantee you’ll walk away with at least a few you love. If you’re interested in finding out more about the event check out the website. Speaker bios are posted, and there will be blogs leading up to the event. 

We hope to see you there on May 7!

Photo Credit: Terry Johnston

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