TEDxSMU Application Deadline is THIS FRIDAY!

The local, self-organized TEDxSMU event is back for its second year and the application deadline to attend is this Friday, July 30th, 2010. The one-day conference will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater on October 16th, 2010. This year's theme is focused around "starting now."

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. If you have never seen a TED talk before, I encourage you to check out TED.com where they publish talks from their annual conference for free. TEDx was launched last year in the spirit of spreading ideas in our own communities. In 2009, 230 cities around the world organized and hosted their own TED-like event.

I was fortunate to attend TEDxSMU last year. I never expected to walk into something so extraordinary. Speakers have only 18-minute to engage and educate you on a topic they are incredibly passionate about. And it's not only speakers that get up there to inspire the audience - last year featured an improv dance group, Jill Sobule, and Lewis Warren Jr., a 13-year old piano prodigy. TEDx will move you, make you think and influence you to do something great after you walk out the door. There is nothing quite like it happening elsewhere in Dallas.

TEDxKids @SMU will take place the day before TEDxSMU. The free half-day conference is for interested, innovative and out of the box thinkers in 7th or 8th grade. Attendance is by application or through the child's school. Information about how to participate has not been released but you can sign up for the TEDxKids @SMU mailing list to receive more information.

Musician and composer Les Brown said, "You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great." Start by applying to TEDxSMU, then listen and meet some of the amazing people making change happen. Seating is limited so take a little time to fill it out and be yourself!

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

Bringing together ideas and interesting people from around the world and around the corner, TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU are single-day conferences in Dallas, TX. Now in its second year, TEDxSMU is jointly produced by Southern Methodist University and the Idea Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. Both 2010 events – TEDxKids @SMU on October 15 and TEDxSMU on October 16 – will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. TEDxKids @SMU (the first TEDx event designed for students) hosts 350 middle school students for a free four-hour conference, in exchange for completing four hours of community service. The 575 TEDxSMU attendees must apply and be selected in order to participate in the full-day conference.

Photo: Bram MullerTEDxRotterdam