Speakers bring diverse perspectives to Penticton conference

TEDx Penticton conference set for Oct. 27 at Penticton Lakeside Resort ballroom

The TEDxPenticton Team at the Penticton Lakeside Resort: Brian Hughes

The TEDxPenticton Team at the Penticton Lakeside Resort: Brian Hughes

Though it might be a bit smaller this year, organizers of the 2012 TEDx Penticton are no less enthusiastic about the prospects for the event.

The 2012 event was a sell out and, according to surveys sent out by the TED organization, well received by the attendees. But it made for a long day.

“We had 18 speakers and it ran from 9 until 6 p.m.,” said event organizer Brian Hughes. “I’ve scaled it back quite a bit this year.”

It is still an impressive lineup, with nine speakers and five musicians planned for the Penticton Lakeside Resort ballroom on Oct. 27. The agenda for this year also differs by taking a wider scope, looking at the theme “Where do we go from here?”

“It’s more like a typical TED conference this time. Last time, it was all about sustainability; it was all looking at the same thing from different ways,” said Hughes. “This time it is more eclectic. We have physicists and painters and chefs. It’s looking at trends and what is happening in the broad perspective and what is happening with more locally.”

The list of speakers includes former Penticton mayor and visual artist Dorothy Tinning, chef Chris Remington, writer Hugh McClelland and Dr. Tom Landecker of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

“I really wanted to mix it up, so we get all kinds of different perspectives,” said Hughes. “Last year, what we lacked was venues for attendee interaction. This time, we are taking a 90-minute break in the middle of the day and coming up with ways to get attendees to interact.

“Those are the stars of the show, it is very interesting who is attracted to these types of conferences.”

Starting from a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, the TED concept has grown through the years; following the spirit of its motto “Ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program was created. There are now more than 4,000 of the independently organized events worldwide, combining live speakers with videos from the TED Talks.

“It’s kind of a movement. It is beginning to emerge as a form of tourism,” said Hughes.

While Penticton’s TEDx event is capped at 100 attendees, he has hopes to expand to a full TED event in the future. First, however, he will have to attend TED in person.

“There is a TED event in Palm Springs that I am looking to attend and once I do that, then we can have 200-300 people,” said Hughes. “It can grow into something quite special. We are looking at developing that in Penticton.”

For a full list of the speakers and performers scheduled for TEDx Penticton, or to apply to attend, visit www.tedxpenticton.com.