TEDx Talent Expands Minds, Inspires Innovation

16 Dec

Published in 83 Degrees Media, 10.15.13

When Kathleen Taylor spoke at TEDxTampaBay 2012, she had no idea what the impact of her talk would be on her life.

“It’s been like the little TEDx talk that could,” laughs Taylor.

Taylor is a mental health professional and graduate of both the University of South Florida and The University of Tampa. Her 2012 talk, titled “Rethinking the Bucket List,” offered insights from working with people who are near dying, posing the question for all to consider: “Who am I being with my life?”

As a result of Taylor’s video being posted online, she was contacted by hundreds of people who wanted to let her know how impactful the talk was on their lives.

It was these connections that inspired Taylor to start her own business, KT Coaching and Consulting. She now spends her time coaching people on how to speak their truth in a business context.

Such is the power of TED talks that started in 1984 as a conference that brought people together to hear about Technology, Entertainment and Design. TEDx has become a global phenomenon where people go to find encouragement, creativity and inspiration. The 18-minute talks by thought leaders and innovators aim to change the way you think about a particular issue, or sometimes even the world.

Inspiration In Our Backyard

TEDxTampaBay returns to Tampa Bay on October 25th at The Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg with a focus on “Exploring the Past, Embracing the Future.”

This year’s speakers include a 5th grader and future astronaut, a neurobiologist conducting Alzheimer’s research with manta rays and the USF iPad Quintet.

TEDxSarasota will be October 16 at the FSU Center for Performing Arts in Sarasota with the theme “Harmonious Havoc.”

Participants will hear from the founder of Sarasota-based ShelterBox USA, an organization that has responded to more than 200 disasters in 90 countries, as well as the 15-year-old CEO of an entertainment company.

“It’s about getting our name out into the world,” says Judy Winslow, organizer for TEDxSarasota, who started the event after being inspired by TEDxOrlando.

TEDxSarasota attracts attendees from as far away as New Zealand who have never been to Sarasota, providing a rich opportunity to expose the region’s talent and innovation.

It’s All About Connections

The uniqueness and allure of TEDx events is that they bring together community leaders from all walks of life — artists, scientists, musicians and business professionals, to name a few. People who are already engaged in the community attend the events to see what others are doing and to find inspiration to do even more.

“You mash them up together, and you get something new,” says Gina Clifford, TEDxTampaBay founder. The outcome often exceeds expectations, changes minds and maybe even generates a new idea or two.

“I’m a big fan of TEDxTampaBay events because they can do a lot, not just for the people who speak, but for the people representing Tampa Bay and the rest of the world,” says Taylor.

TED talks can be viewed online, as well as live at independently organized events called TEDx.

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