Brine Webb wonders what makes life. What makes him alive and what makes him worth keeping alive? His songwriting seems to ask if humanity is a long list of redundancies, what can be done to ensure the nonredundancy of self? Webb wonders where he comes from and he wonders where he is going, but more importantly, he wonders how he lays into the scheme. In his music and his lyrics, one can hear Brine Webb being enthralled by the mystery of life, and as much as he seems to want to solve it and be at ease with it, he seems even more terrified by it.
Beatrice Williamson is a distinguished leader known for her warmth, humor and commitment to learning. She was born in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya. From the age of nine years old until her second year of college, Beatrice received a scholarship for education from Swedish missionary Anna Lanson. Education was what Beatrice needed to rise above her circumstances and realize her potential.
“Aunty Bea” as the Maisha children affectionately call her, came to The United States in 2001. In the meantime, Beatrice’s family, living in the village of Kano, just outside of Kisumu, expressed the need and dire situation of the orphans and widows living in their community. The fruition of Beatrice’s dream began in 2006, when she founded Maisha International Orphanage in response to this call for help. Now, her passion is to reach out to orphaned and destitute children and provide them with the same opportunity Anna Lanson gave her. By making a difference in the lives of the children from her home village, Beatrice strives to create a brighter future for the next generation. Her passion is to reach out to orphaned and destitute children and continue the Legacy of Hope Anna Lanson began.
Austin Hartel is an extraordinary human being. He is internationally acclaimed for choreographing passionate and athletic dances that create perceptual and intuitive environments, naturally engaging to audiences. Hailing from the east coast and current faculty member of the University of Oklahoma School of Dance, Hartel has spent much of his time in numerous prestigious dance festivals and venues across the globe including serving as a cultural ambassador for the US Dept. of State for 11 years.
Jeremy Short has taken his love of writing graphic novels and has developed it into a teaching tool through graphic textbooks. “I’ve yet to encounter a single soul who can recite a line from a textbook.” Instead, he is looking to mix things up by escaping the “snooze-fest” associated with most textbooks. Short was named Researcher of the Year in 2010 for the College of Business at Texas Tech University prior to joining the faculty at OU.
Opposite to the ‘top down’ concept of urban design is BETTER BLOCK, founded in Dallas’ Oak Cliff by Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard. The Better Block project is a demonstration tool that temporarily re-visions an area to show the potential to create a walkable, vibrant, neighborhood center. The idea and the charrettes to realize it have quickly spread to cities like Memphis, St. Louis, New York, and Boston. National media coverage includes NPR, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
A very special thanks to all of you who participated in the inaugural independently-organized TEDxOU event yesterday. For those who have asked, we expect to start posting the videos of every single talk online for the whole world to see within 4-6 weeks. For all of those asking, we expect to start posting the videos of every single talk online for the whole world to see within 4-6 weeks. For now, we want to capture your top moments of the day. What was that one specific conversation with another participant that made your day? Was there a speaker that made you rethink your day-to-day activities or career path? What can we do for next year? Share your unique experience at TEDxOU 2012, as we want to spotlight some of the select special TEDxOU moments and photos on our blog throughout the next couple of weeks. To sweeten the pot, all who decide to share their story will be automatically accepted and pushed to the front of the ticket line for TEDxOU 2013. Thanks for making TEDxOU 2012 a success. The best part is that we are only on the front end of this journey together and the conversations are only beginning.
TEDxOU is pleased to reveal the finalized lineup for our event on January 27, 2012. Please note that that participants will be allowed to come and go between talks but not during as there will be filming during each talk. Between each session will be healthy, 30-minute breaks in Beaird Lounge.
SESSION 1 – 9:30AM
Buck & Clint Vrazel
SESSION 2 – 11:05AM
SESSION 3 – 1:30PM
SESSION 4 – 3:15PM
RECEPTION – FRED JONES MUSEUM OF ART
A few thoughts that will make this experience a little more comfortable for you. First, we’ve received several inquiries about what to wear to TEDxOU. We suggest clothes. Seriously though, TEDx events are fairly casual. There is no dress code or expectation. Dress up or down but please be comfortable.
Second, good parking makes for good times. The OU Memorial Union parking garage has been reserved for TEDxOU attendees (refer to this map for directions) and is FREE. Please park in the garage and enter the Union from the first floor, as the second and third floors are closed for construction.
Third, you can pick up your name badge between 8:30 and 9:30 Friday morning in Stuart Landing. The event will begin promptly at 9:30 in Meacham and will conclude at 4:30.
Finally, we wanted a way to say thanks to all attendees and create ample opportunities to get to know one another. The Fred Jones Museum of Art has graciously donated their space to host a catered reception immediately following the event. It is conveniently in walking distance of the Union and gives everyone a first glance at the newly opened student art exhibition and recent facility renovations.
A few tips on getting the most out of TEDxOU
1. Arrive early. We encourage you to arrive at 8:30 to register and look around. Speaker sessions have hard start times we’d like to respect. Arriving early also means you’ll be able to network with other incredible thinkers and doers.
2. Stay until the very end. We recommend you plan to stay through the whole event. TEDxOU is an unusual conference in that our attendees stay for its entirety — every session, break, reception, and special event has something special to offer.
3. Clear your calendar. No, really. To help you get the most out of TEDxOU, we ask that you lend us your brain. Ignore your email. Switch off your phone. Don’t take meetings. TED is an immersive experience, and you won’t want to miss a moment.
4. Talk to strangers. TEDxOU will be teeming with amazing people. Most speakers stay for the entire event, and the attendees, in truth, are every bit as extraordinary. As a result, chance encounters at TEDx events often lead to new ideas, projects, perspectives, companies … They’re as essential to the experience as the program itself.
5. Don’t miss a thing. Watch every session. The best TED moments happen when you least expect them. It’s invariably the unknown speakers who wow the crowd. Watching every session helps you avoid disappointment, and ensures you take in each key moment as it happens. Social events, too, are there for a reason.
6. Leave your laptop at home. And your cell phone in your bag. The speakers at TEDxOU merit your full attention, and laptops and cell phones are a big distraction – not just for you, but for everyone around you. To preserve an immersive experience, we don’t allow cell phone use in the theater. Blogging/Twittering is permitted and is welcomed in the social spaces.
7. Be excited. You are going to be part of something that is aiming to shift and expand conversations in our community.
Remember to bring your curiosity and leave your preconceptions. See you Friday!
TEDxOU Organizing Group
On January 27 2012, a group of spectacular people will gather in Norman. Will you be one of them? Apply now.