TED is magnetic, informative and well spoken. His mission statement revolves around technology, entertainment and design. Lucky for us, Alyssa Bottone, a Newport resident, has invited him to visit and he has graciously accepted her invitation.
Coming this November, Newport will be hosting it’s first ever TEDx event – taking place at the Firehouse Theatre. If you have never heard of a TEDx or TED talk before, it is a non-profit conference dedicated (solely) to the spreading of ideas. Essentially, it is a place where people can speak freely about their passions. Whether it’s an interest that is global, or a small community driven topic – nothing is too taboo for TED(x).
TED has been around since 1984 and is broadcasted in over 100 languages around the world. The community that TED has created, and continues to create is global and aids in heightening awareness. Unionizing like-minded and curious souls while giving them a place to gather. Their tagline (naturally) speaks for itself, the goal being to: cultivate and share “ideas worth spreading”. Basically, this event is kind of a big deal.
When talking to Alyssa about taking on this endeavor, I couldn’t help but ask what motivated her to apply in the first place. Of course, her answer was honest, articulate, and accompanied by lots of hand gestures. She had prioritized her list of motivations and, more or less, she firstly was inspired by the people in our surrounding community. When Alyssa would run with her dogs in the evening, or attend a social event, she said that she would always end up chatting with someone “who was doing something really cool and innovative or [someone who] was really passionate about something they were doing”.
The secondary importance of this event is to bring awareness to Newport. Although our little island is famously perched along gorgeous coastline, has mouth watering seafood, a seemingly endless supply of libations, and yacht filled harbors – it also is home to a large amount of (unseen) intellectual property that is bubbling and fermenting under the surface.
Alyssa puts it best when she says, “…when you have an idea it’s contagious, we just need to keep talking about it and developing it”. While she didn’t ‘create the wheel’ she certainly has put it in motion and it is up to us to respond accordingly.
TEDx provides a platform for anyone on Aquidneck Island who is interested in sharing their story or next ‘big idea’. Speakers from all walks of life are welcome and encouraged to apply. Alternatively, if you feel that someone you know has been sitting on a golden idea, or has a story that should be heard, there is an option to nominate. Aside from speakers, TEDx is also seeking sponsors, volunteers for the event, and donations. Don’t be shy!