Sept. 5, 2013
Amber Lennon, OVN correspondent
If being a part of innovation and change in the community sounds appealing, then this year’s TEDxOjai City2.0 event promises to deliver. On Sept. 21 at the Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio, participants will have the chance to view streamed videos from New York City’s main TEDCity2.0 event, as well as to hear local speakers presenting their innovative ideas for the city of Ojai and surrounding communities.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and aims to share groundbreaking ideas from the world’s most interesting speakers. The first TED series in 1984 included demos of the Sony compact disc and a presentation by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot on how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals. The TED series then expanded to include TED Global, TED Prize, TED Talks, and most recently TEDx, which allows communities to adopt the TED format and mission for independently organized community events.
Last year’s TEDxOjai event captivated attendees with a lineup of speakers like acclaimed “Zeitgeist” movie series director Peter Joseph. This year’s speakers — such as Jason Brock and his presentation on the bartering model known as “Time Banking” — focus specifically on how to evolve communities with sustainable, innovative concepts in technology, agriculture, commerce and even art.
Michael Jordet, of the technology firm ET3, will present the latest revolutionary developments in transportation. “Since TED is about ‘ideas worth spreading,’ space travel on earth most likely qualifies in that category,” Jordet says. “We believe that transportation is the master key to survival. This technology will eventually (make it possible) to visit the most popular destinations on the planet in less than six hours.”
The event’s curator and producer, Danette Wallace, says Ojai is an ideal community to host TEDx. “Ojai is a small enough community that we could probably make change fairly quickly,” she says. “It’s the difference between turning a ship and turning a dingy.”
In an effort to emphasize the intention of producing tangible results in the community, TEDxOjai is an invitation-only event. To request an invitation, potential attendees can fill out a form on the event website and are asked to talk about their contributions in the community and explain why they are inspired to attend. In addition to people who are active in the community, this year’s TEDxOjai event also targets City Council members and other leaders who are eager to participate in revolutionizing their community. “We’re looking for quality, not quantity. It’s not about how many people we can pack into the venue,” Wallace explains. “If we get motivated people who are active in the community, then we go straight to the top.”
Wallace stressed the importance of break times, when attendees can connect and participate in interactive activities, like the Vision Board, where people write their vision or project, and then others who can contribute in some way post their contact information. This type of action-oriented collaboration echoes the event’s motto, “Dream me. Build me. Make me real.”
The event also features a surprise anonymous speaker. A member of Ojai’s “Yarn Bombers,” whose colorful yarn embellishments have been mysteriously beautifying the town of Ojai for months, will talk about the role of art and beauty in the expansion of community.
Wallace is a former producer of a Chicago-based conference company and once presented Bluetooth technology to executives years before it was publicly released. “I love sharing information. I love advancing and evolving people’s minds. That to me is everything,” she says. “So if I can use this opportunity to introduce some ideas that our community probably hasn’t heard of and might want to adopt, then we all win.”
A ticket to this year’s TEDxOjai costs $30 and includes streamed videos from the main TED City2.0 event; six local guest speakers; coffee, tea and pastries courtesy of Ojai Coffee Connection; drinks and hors devours; inspired connection opportunities; and a couple other surprises.
Visit www.tedxojai.org to request an invitation and view a complete list of speakers, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.