Martin Luther King Jr.: Buffalo memories

The Battle of the Bridge gets bloody—in a good way


Share ideas by expanding Buffalo’s TEDx conference

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Forward-thinking ideas are useless unless they’re put into practice, and that’s the prominent mission of TEDx Buffalo. Each year, influential locals are asked to speak in front of an engaged and connected audience—peers, in many cases—sharing concepts and explaining how innovative ideas were implemented into something profitable or socially valuable.

Unfortunately, attending the TEDx Buffalo talk isn’t as simple as just showing up—space is limited to 100 people due to finances and conference specifications, and there’s a pretty aggressive screening process. Now, however, TEDx Buffalo is looking to expand its live-audience, but the route to lifting the 100-person limit is oddly circuitous.

The local license holder, who in this instance is 2011 and 2012 organizer Kevin Purdy, must attend an official TEDx conference—TEDActive 2013 will be held in Palm Springs on Feb. 25. Once Purdy attends the conference, the organizer can apply for increased attendance for the local iteration.

Although donations have already covered hotel and travel expenses, TEDx Buffalo and B Team Buffalo are teaming up to crowd-source $2,500 for attendance at the Florida conference. You can donate at this link.

Purdy recognizes how strange the requirement to attend a national TEDx conference is, and he pledges to take an unpaid week off from work and pay his own incidentals. You probably can ask him to bring back trinkets, too.

Through several 18-minute chats, invited TEDx Buffalo 2012 speakers touched on topics ranging from pop-up parks and e-commerce growth to more unexpected subjects like “dude ranches” and astro-photography. Your initial reaction may be either: “Boy, this is nerdy,” or “Are there any threads to connect these divergent messages?”

While the answer to the first question is a definitive “yes,” there is a unifying purpose: Buffalo’s creators gather together to inspire, reflect and advance. How else can Buffalo shed its label of “archaic Rust Belt city,” a tattered town [believed to be] reliant on out-dated principles? How does a city—from a larger perspective—evolve from a gem of the past to flourishing in the present?

(Header photo courtesy of Cody Osborne from the 2012 TEDx Buffalo conference at Montante Cultural Center at Canisius College— full gallery).

TAGGED: b team buffalo, crowd-source, fundraiser, kevin purdy, tedactive, tedx buffalo

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