Put on Your Thinking Caps, TEDx Coming to Rochester

“Think Big. Start small. Move Fast.”

This is Barbara Spurrier’s motto – at least it is in her day job as administrator of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation. She runs the operation that probably is the closest thing Mayo has to a skunkworks.

It comes at little surprise, then, that Suprrier would be leading the organization of Rochester’s first TEDx event, planned for spring 2016.

Billed as TEDx Zumbro River, the program is seeking presenters and an audience of contemplative individuals who want to share in the experience of a TED Talk without forking over the $8,500 attendance fee plus travel and expenses.

TED, it’s worth noting, started in 1984 as a small California conference evaluating the convergence of “Technology, Education and Design.” Since that time, it has grown into an international nonprofit with headquarters in New York and Vancouver, British Columbia. It is now devoted to spreading “ideas worth sharing” and addresses just about every topic imaginable, from business to art to science in more than 100 languages.

With major international hubs like Mayo Clinic and IBM right in our back yard, not to mention the exciting future of Destination Medical Center and a rapidly expanding educational scene, it seems like a no-brainer bringing these licensed local TEDx dialogues to Rochester. In fact, it’s a bit surprising no one has tried this before.

“When we think about all of the kinds of activities and discoveries going on in the Rochester area with health care, with industry, with business, with agriculture, there are so many ways of bringing ideas that matter together to showcase around TED,” Spurrier said in an interview with KIMT last week.

So let’s get thinking, Rochester! Know someone with an idea worth spreading? Better yet, have ideas of your own? You can nominate a speaker or apply yourself on the TEDx Zumbro River site.

Dates and locations have yet to be determined, but we’re pretty sure this first one in Rochester won’t be our last.

Happy learning!