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Catch a spark during TEDxGreensboro

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dance photo with polinsky 042715

Natya Academy’s Gajjdi Jawani

By Sue Polinsky

TEDxGreensboro is a local, volunteer and community event that will happen right here in Greensboro on May 7 at Triad Stage!

TEDx conferences are the offshoot of global week-long TED events.

TED, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, features short, powerful talks that are groundbreaking and passionate.

To foster the exchange of curious souls, TED created TEDx that supports independent organizers who want to build a TED-like event in their own communities. Like Greensboro. Three years ago, we did just that.

TEDxGreensboro is a fast-paced, day-long event with live speakers, great entertainment and selected TED talks. The day is focused and showcases important ideas from local and regional speakers from broad disciplines.

This year’s theme is Spark!, sent in by Jess DaPolito and selected from more than 100 community suggestions. We believe that every invention, innovation and world-changing movement begins with a spark.

Sparks are powerful yet fragile and need to catch fire. TEDxGreensboro 2015 celebrates the sparks that are catching fire in our region and have the potential to change our community and our world.

This year is the third TEDxGreensboro event. Our speakers have ideas that connect around Spark! and will inspire our attendees and later, our community, as they are posted on YouTube.

With nine speakers and three entertainers, the day is full of live presentations, TED videos and entertainment. Plus food: a small breakfast, catered lunch with an international menu, snacks at breaks, a wine reception the night before and a social after the program. Even the food vendors are local.

Richard L. “Skip” Moore is the organizer and curator of TEDxGreensboro.

The all-volunteer team represents many Greensboro communities.

The speakers are local to the Triad and North Carolina, with a Silicon Valley angel investor whose talk can impact Greensboro tech businesses.

TEDxGreensboro is a catalyst and inspiration for our community, and our speakers do not hold back from presenting challenges to the 300 attendees to consider in the future.

Speakers tell a story or argue for an idea. Their talks are original, powerful and fascinating.

What kind of talks will our speakers share? Laura Gonzo is an animal activist.

Scott Silknitter is an entrepreneur in senior care.

Omar Ali is a historian who focuses on Middle Eastern culture.

Anthony Tata is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general and North Carolina’s transportation secretary who also writes mystery novels.

Sean Aggarwal is an entrepreneur and angel investor who has insight into what makes successful entrepreneurs.

Naeemah Clark will share thoughts about the portrayal of black women on television.

Emilio Salinas is a brain researcher who’ll talk about how we make choices.

Jennifer Thomas shares how an apology can be the last word.

Taylor Mabe is using nanoscience to deliver medicine more effectively.

The TEDxGreensboro 2015 entertainers include Sabrina Woods, an aerial artist; Ken Brown, a classical guitarist and composer; and Jajjdi Jawani, a team of competitive high school and college Bhangra dancers who celebrate Punjab, India, culture.

Our volunteer team reaches out to the whole Greensboro community to present diverse ideas.

People you probably know have been working for months to make TEDxGreensboro successful.

Three-year volunteers include Leslie Mackler, Cheryl McQueary, Rich Schlentz, Jeff SanGeorge, David Horne, Laura Morris, Alan Shelton, Shelly Segal, Neil Belenky and me.

All team members bring a depth of understanding about Technology, Entertainment and Design, the initials of a TEDx conference. You can see the rest of the great team at our Website.

Want to know more or buy a ticket? Sign up for the email list at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Sue Polinsky is president of TechTriad, Inc. and a TEDxGreensboro volunteer.


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