TEDxBeaconStreet is an exciting conference series in the Greater Boston area with a focus on fascinating speakers, captivating Adventures, and a cross-generational audience, all in the service of Ideas In Action. Our next free TEDxBeaconStreet and TEDxBeaconStreetYouth programs will be on NOVEMBER 16th + 17th, 2013. Here’s a preview of the 2013 speakers.
- What are TEDx events »
- Why use Beacon Street in the name »
- What makes TEDxBeaconStreet so different »
- What makes TEDxBeaconStreet Adventures so unique »
- Our vision for the Adventures model »
- Who is John Werner »
- The TEDxBeaconStreet Leadership Team »
- What is the cost to attend? Free! »
What are TEDx events?
For over twenty years, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has unleashed Ideas Worth Spreading via scores of enlightening talks given by experts in every field at gatherings in Long Beach and at TED Global events (which currently take place in Edinburgh). In order to bring the ever impactful experience of TED to an even wider audience, TED began its TEDx initiative in 2009, whereby local communities could hold their own TED events. TEDxBeaconStreet, where x = independently organized TED event, will take place on November 17 and 18 at various locations in the Greater Boston area. Through intriguing talks and innovative Adventures, our conference will link the best traditions of innovation together with earnest thought and dialog, uniting intergenerational audiences from the Greater Boston area and beyond around our central theme, Ideas In Action.Return to Top
Why use Beacon Street in the name?
Named for the historic neighborhood and the signal lights of the city on the hill, Beacon Street connects Boston to neighboring Brookline and Newton. Ten miles in all, Beacon Street is Boston’s longest street, uniting towns and cities, neighborhoods and businesses, schools and families along the way. It’s a journey through Boston’s nearly 400-year history of innovation, through architectural masterpieces, and entrepreneurial dreams. Beacon Street, then, provides the ideal backdrop for an exciting exchange of ideas. It also accentuates our desire to serve as a beacon to the TEDx community with our Adventure model.
Our novel event incorporated all of the established elements that have made TEDx events so successful since their inception. From the beginning, TED conferences have featured an incredible pedigree of speakers from all sectors and backgrounds, coming together to share their knowledge and passions with diverse audiences and giving voice to Ideas Worth Spreading, TED’s main theme. At TEDxBeaconStreet, speakers—carefully selected by an experienced team of curators— shared the stage with local entertainers at the Harleston Parker award-winning (Best Designed Building in Boston 1999), Graham Gund designed Lincoln School in Brookline for a youth event on Saturday, in conjunction with TEDxYouthDay. We also hosted an Evening Event of TEDx Talks on Saturday Night.
The programming on Sunday included a simulcast, hosted by Google Labs in Kendall Square, designed for a cross-generational audience which included high school students, undergraduates, and recent college graduates. The program on Sunday concluded with the Escape Velocity Party at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, which providing participants the opportunity to share the ideas they heard and to brainstorm how they themselves could put those Ideas Into Action. Following the MIT Museum Escape Velocity Party, we had a gathering at MassChallenge in Boston as well.
Select talks from the conference weekend will be presented on the big screen at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in the months following the event. Return to Top
What makes TEDxBeaconStreet different?
TEDxBeaconStreet focuses on enthralling speakers, but at the same time is a different kind of locally organized TED event, beginning with the concept of TEDxBeaconStreet Adventures. These Adventures occur before, during, and after the main two-day event itself. Adventures will provide participants with the opportunity to view their world from a different perspective, and will foster engagement with the community in new and powerful ways.Return to Top
What makes TEDxBeaconStreet Adventures unique?
The Adventures offer unparalleled, behind-the-scenes access to the people and places that make the Greater Boston area so dynamic. These experiences provide the foundation for our innovative celebration of phenomenal regional thought. By offering Adventures in the two months prior to and twelve months after the conference, TEDxBeaconStreet will allow many more people to get involved, fostering the spread of powerful thought and ignition of critical dialog. Our groundbreaking Adventures will be interactive experiences in fields ranging from social issues to technology to entertainment, from an enlightening tour of the Whitehead Institute to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the FBI to a helicopter ride over the Boston cityscape to an Architecture tour and day of creating art at Artists for Humanity. Participants will be exposed to the masterminds behind the future of technology, business, and entertainment, to name just a few.
Our Adventures, some of them led by TEDxBeaconStreet speakers, will allow for an unprecedented degree of interaction between conference attendees, fostering a spirit of community and continuity before, during, and after the main conference weekend. The Adventures which took place before the main weekend energized audience and community members in anticipation of the weekend itself, and the Adventures happening after the weekend will extend the spirit of TEDxBeaconStreet for far longer than is possible at most other TEDx conferences. TED and TEDx gatherings generate a wealth of energy around ideas that can often be lost following the conclusion of the conference, but the Adventures of TEDxBeaconStreet provide us with the means to harness that energy and extend it throughout the following year and beyond. Furthermore, it may be logistically difficult for some people to spend a whole week at TED in Long Beach or Edinburgh, just as it may be difficult for others to attend the main weekend of TEDxBeaconStreet. But with the addition of Adventures which will take place for a full year over a wide array of days and times, many more people will be able to have a TED experience.Return to Top
Our vision for the Adventures model
Our goal is not just to provide Adventures for our direct participants in the Boston area: indeed, we want our model to be accessible to people around the world. To this end, during our main conference, TEDx curators from all corners of the Earth came together to discuss how to produce their own TEDx Adventures. We hosted a workshop program and brainstorming session on how to create a TEDx Adventure. In addition, we have developed a comprehensive tool kit which is accessible to TEDx curators and which will assist them as they prepare their own Adventures.
By attending TEDx Beacon Street, a diverse group of international TEDx curators acquired the skills necessary to spread the Adventure model to their own communities around the world, so that a broader group of people will be able to experience the wonder of a TED Adventure. One of our main goals at TEDxBeaconStreet is to learn from each other, and discussing the Adventure model is just one of many instances of that kind of learning. TEDxBeaconStreet will serve as a sort of test kitchen on the subject of Adventures for the benefit of the greater TEDx community.
John Werner, Executive Curator of TEDxBeaconStreet, first piloted the Adventure model during TEDxBoston, for which he was 1 of 5 Executive Curators. 500 people participated in Adventures during TEDxBoston2010, and that number increased by a factor of 10 just one year later during TEDxBoston2011. He presented on the Adventure model at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, a conference which contained 650 TEDx curators from 97 countries.Return to Top
Who is John Werner?
Over many years, TED has established itself as a formidable force spreading knowledge and innovation, and it is a program in which John is tremendously confident. In addition to his work on Adventures, he has curated several of TEDxBoston’s talks and attended 5 of the main TED gatherings in Long Beach and Edinburgh, interacting closely with a diverse network of TEDsters in the process. John is committed to unleashing the educational power of TED, a challenge for which he is well suited given that his day job as Chief Mobilizing Officer and Managing Director at Citizen Schools revolves around producing robust education reform and studying important educational trends.Return to Top
The TEDxBeaconStreet Leadership Team
We have assembled over 45 Curators and 80 Braintrust members. We are thrilled to be able to count so many prestigious organizations as our partners. Due to the strong relationships which the curators have developed with these organizations over time, we have been able to secure many in-kind contributions for TEDxBeaconStreet, ensuring that our conference is spectacular and yet still affordable for our audience.
The leadership of TEDxBeaconStreet is committed to a conference distinguished by unparalleled attention to great speakers and amazing Adventures, but also to a third element which will set TEDxBeaconStreet apart from all other TEDx events: audience engagement. We founded TEDxBeaconStreet not only so that we could emphasize Adventures, but also because we wanted to attend to the audience with as much care as is usually afforded only to the speakers. TEDxBeaconStreet will place a special emphasis on audience participation and interactivity, employing an intergenerational approach. The events on Saturday, November 17 were specially geared to an audience of elementary and middle school students, while Sunday’s events at Google in Cambridge were geared to an intergenerational community, including many from the tech community who are recent college graduates.Return to Top
What is the cost to attend? Free!
Many TEDx events charge a fee for admission, but audience members of TEDxBeaconStreet—like only a few other TEDx events—did not have to pay anything to experience our conference. Rather, we wished to make the event as accessible as possible, with the expectation that each audience member will share with others—of all ages—what he or she has experienced. Our goal is to have a combined view and share count of 2 million for all of our talks once they have been posted online. In this way, Ideas In Action will spread far beyond the boundaries of Greater Boston.
Through the innovative combination of speakers and Adventures, TEDxBeaconStreet will provide the Greater Boston area with an unprecedented experience, highlighting the best of two spheres: both the intellectual and the interactive. And we intend for our successes to be replicated all across the surface of a third sphere—the global one.Return to Top