WJTV News Channel 12 - TEDx Coming to Virginia Tech

TEDx Coming to Virginia Tech

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This Saturday I will take the stage at Virginia Tech along with 15 other speakers.Each of us is charged with presenting "ideas worth spreading" as Part of a TEDx Talk.

What is a TED talk? What will the audience learn? And why is this big deal?  Let's start by telling you what TED stands for.

"TED is a global organization that stands for technology, entertainment and design.  And the idea here is that they are all about ideas worth spreading," explained Adam Soccolich, operations manager at the Institute for Creativity Art and Technology at Virginia Tech and co-chair of Saturday's TEDx program. 

 This will be the second year for the event after a trial run last year in which only 100 people were permitted in the audience.  This year it's been stretched to 500, but in reality most people who see the talks will do so via the TED web site.

"The reach of TED is global, so once the event happens, we do video record it.  We upload that to TED.com.  If it meets all their requirements, they certainly promote it and from there it can go viral," said Soccolich.

(Carlin standing on stage) I have to tell you from a speaker perspective, one of the most interesting aspects is that we'll be right here on stage in the brand new auditorium at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech.

I joined Soccolich and Tech 4th year student Austin Larrowe as they worked through some early staging for the event.  

 Larrowe sought out a spot on the TEDx committee.

"I think to make positive change in the world especially with today's society and the Internet and things spreading so fast, you have to give those ideas, you have to build off each other's you use cooperation.  And so that's what Ted is all about," he said.

I asked Soccolich about the list of speakers.  The topics vary across the spectrum.

"Chris Williams is talking about additive manufacturing.  Susan Duncan will be talking about food and emotion," he said. 

Soccolich says the program will spread ideas primarily originating at Tech -- and serves as a great way to showcase the recently opened $100-million Moss Arts Center.

We recorded a portion of our interview in "the Cube" a room that's four stories high and square.  It is set up to view presentation in true surround.  And I suspect even the thinkers at Tech haven't figured out all the applications for the space. "At the moment you are sitting in the cube.  And this is a brand new facility that's able to accommodate the brand new research and technology here at Virginia Tech," explained Soccolich during our interview.

The forward thinking goes all the way to the stage, which, while basic will feature some cutting edge technology.  With advanced lighting illumination the letters that spell out "TED" on stage.

"And then the final thing will be 3D projection mapping is a new technology that is usually meant when you project it is on a 2D surface/  but now we are trying to go 3D so you are able to project 3D on the objects."

So no pressure ... For my fellow speakers and me...  Just change the world with a 12 minute talk.

"Saturday is going to be phenomenal.  I've been working with Adam and the rest of the steering committee since April and it is going to be spectacular," predicted Larrowe.

I sure hope he's right.

Tickets are still available at the Virginia Tech TEDx web site.

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