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October 29, 2012

Just about eight months ago, I attended my first planning meeting for TEDxMidAtlantic 2012. At that initial meeting I offered up the names of several speakers and performers. I also offered my insight & opinions, and collectively brainstormed with the others assembled. As a part of what became the core planning team, and also a team of social media voices, I got to see both how hard everyone was working internally, and how excited *most* people externally were about what we were planning. I had no idea, however, just how proud I would feel upon seeing two of my suggestions take the stage, along with more than 40 others this past weekend. (If you don’t yet know about Small World News or Classical Revolution, I once again suggest you check them out; I’ll be sharing their talks/performances just as soon as possible.)

The entire event came together beautifully, because of the hard work of so many people, both leading up to the event and on the days we faced the public. I’m sure I don’t even know about the averted disasters, or even half of the things that went ‘wrong.’ Things to me, seemed practically seamless; we built it, and they came. The two-day event sold out – attended by over 900 people – and even more were able to join us virtually, because it was also live streamed. A team of folks (including me @AmyGK) also live tweeted along with the proceedings in an attempt to provide additional insight about the speakers, topics at hand, and also to share an atmosphere that I can only describe as magical.

We heard from our elders, from those who seem to have an extreme reserve of focus and dedication, from those who have overcome great adversity/anger/stereotypes/life threatening conditions in order to become leaders, and from those far more brilliant in their teens than I ever imagined possible.  The overarching theme of our talks was “be fearless” and I think all of our speakers inspired us all to do just a bit more in this precious life we are given, and to try even harder to make a difference on the issues about which we get most passionate. I can’t wait to debrief with the team in the coming weeks, events like this naturally build upon one another, and by default become even more spectacular over time.

Learn more, join us, or join in on your local group’s planning efforts, or maybe even start your own!

I hope this inspires you:

Here are a few blogs inspired folks wrote & shared:

And perhaps my new favorite, and pure visual genius:

Update: Mashable named Brian’s talk one of “4 TED talks Every Journalist Should Watch:”


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