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TEDxGullLake returning to Brainerd lakes area: Nominations for speakers, artists being accepted

Local organizers will bring the TED-style event back to the Brainerd lakes area for a second run April 22, 2017, at Madden's on Gull Lake. The inaugural event, held last October at Madden's, brought a wide-ranging group of thinkers and doers toge...

Hannah Stonehouse Hudson gave a presentation, “Empathy and the Power of Virtual Community” during the last TEDXGullLake. Submitted Photo
Hannah Stonehouse Hudson gave a presentation, “Empathy and the Power of Virtual Community” during the last TEDXGullLake. Submitted Photo

Local organizers will bring the TED-style event back to the Brainerd lakes area for a second run April 22, 2017, at Madden's on Gull Lake.

The inaugural event, held last October at Madden's, brought a wide-ranging group of thinkers and doers together for a sold-out day of "ideas worth sharing."

"A testament to the effectiveness of the TEDx experience is that the great group of volunteers working on the new TEDx were members of the audience during the last event," said Kate Hunt, curator for TEDxGullLake.

The audience was so engaged after the first TEDx, she said, that in a survey, 61 percent of respondents said they wanted to be a part of creating a followup event.

Public nominations for speakers are now being accepted. Anyone can go to the group's website, TEDxGullLake.com, to nominate themselves or others as speakers or performers. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 1.

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TEDxGullLake is licensed by the national TED organization and is patterned after the TED Talks, a series of short presentations and performances designed to enlighten and inspire

Amie Anderson, chair of the speaker's committee, estimated that the day will include 15-16 short stage events, with presenters and performers delivering their stories, ideas or art in concise, meaningful ways. A wide variety of topics and experiences will be covered in a single day.

"We are looking for breakthrough research, passionate presenters, exceptional artists, and individuals with a unique perspective on a current issue or debate," Anderson said. "We want topics that impact rural regions, as well as big, broad ideas that might impact the world."

Most speakers will be chosen from the central lakes region or greater Minnesota, or have a direct connection to the area, even if they now live elsewhere, she said.

A new aspect to this year's nomination process will be an open mic event to be held in February, Anderson said. Organizers plan to borrow an idea from TEDxGrandForks and create an event allowing the audience to pick two of the speakers.

"Anyone with an idea worth sharing will have the chance to give a quick, two-minute talk, making the case for their idea," Anderson said. "The audience will decide what topics and speakers they find most compelling."

Talks could fall into themes of innovation in rural regions; technology and invention; entrepreneurship, sociology and human behavior; science and research; arts and entertainment; agriculture, personal stories of resilience, growth and achievement; or any topic that inspires and informs.

"This will be a day of exploration," said Hunt, who is a 2014 TED Fellow. "We will adventure with these speakers, learn from these speakers, and walk away with a head full of ideas."

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