Aaron and Rachel Hatch are modern-day prospectors, sifting through the community in search of interesting and provocative ideas. When they strike gold, they don’t take their treasure to the bank—they take it to the World Wide Web.
The Redding couple, and their support crew of fellow Catalyst Redding Young Professionals members, are the organizers of Redding’s first TED event, a symposium of sorts centered on the simple notion of “ideas worth spreading.”
TED (an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global non-profit organization that seeks to foster community and inspire people by organizing “riveting talks by remarkable people” and making them available online at www.ted.com.
The organization holds a couple of large conferences each year and encourages smaller groups to use its template and host independent TED gatherings. Hundreds of such events, designated as TEDx, are held each month around the world with the goal of stimulating dialogue and spreading ideas.
The Hatches have been TED fans for several years and when Aaron Hatch recently returned to his home town of Redding, one of the first things he looked for was a local TED event. He didn’t find one, but he did find Catalyst and its growing membership of like-minded folks.
“We thought we’d see if we could get one started so we applied for the free license to use the TEDx brand and we got that through the organization. We started putting together a team and now we’re ready to put on our first TEDx event,” Aaron Hatch said.
TEDxRedding: Fill in the Blank will take place from 1 to 5 pm Saturday, Feb. 4, at downtown Redding’s Old City Hall. A two-hour reception will follow. Tickets for the live event, at $30 each, have already been snapped up, but seats are still available for a live-stream presentation at the Shasta College Health Sciences Center at the north end of the Market Street Promenade.
Seating is free at the live-stream event but tickets are recommended. Visit www.tedxredding.com to make reservations. Tickets for the reception, at $10 each, also are available at the site.
For the debut TED event, the Hatches have lined up six speakers, each of whom will share their idea in a talk lasting 18 minutes or less. “Most of them will be 15 minutes or less,” Aaron Hatch said. “The idea is sharing their ‘nugget’ in a very short format.”
Redding-based videographer Tyler Faires will record, edit and produce the six talks prior to posting them on www.tedxredding.com and www.youtube.com. With luck, one or more of the Redding talks will be deemed inspirational enough to be included on the main www.ted.com site, Aaron Hatch said.
The scheduled speakers are:
• James Rickert, a co-owner of Prather Ranch, who will talk about the value and importance of locally produced food and food’s growing role in the north state.
• Toni Cancilla, a Shasta College instructor and an American Sign Language interpreter, who will talk about language and culture and how the two collide.
• Caleen Sisk-Franco, a spiritual leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, will be interviewed by multi-media journalist Marc Dadigan. She will talk about indigenous knowledge and how the world can continue to learn from it.
• Patience Abbe, 87, who achieved celebrity status as a child when she wrote, with siblings Richard and John, “Around the World in Eleven Years.” Published in 1936, the non-fiction book was a best-selling account of the children’s globe-trotting travels with their photographer father. She will encourage listeners to share their stories.
• Redding architect James Theimer, who will posit the question: What if buildings had more outdoor space? He will discuss the physical, mental and economical effects of incorporating open space into buildings.
• Kyle Wiley Pickett, conductor and music director of the North State Symphony, will discuss his experience as a conductor and a symphony’s role in the community.
• Amy Kaherl of Detroit SOUP, an organization that offers diners the opportunity to hear about and vote on creative projects. Kaherl is the event’s one outside speaker, and will talk about about lessons in resilience–from one community (Detroit) to another (Redding).
In accordance with their TEDx licensing requirements, the Hatches also will screen three recorded TED talks selected from the organization’s constantly growing archive.
Rachel Hatch uses terms like “invoking wonder” and “forward-looking focus” when talking about TEDxRedding and expressed the hope that the event will hold an appeal “to the lifelong learner.
“We hope it will be something that speaks to the future. The notion is that those ideas worth spreading are useful frameworks for making the world a better place,” she said.
“The global nature of the conversation is important, too. These conversations about ideas worth spreading are being carried on all over the world. It’s a shift in education, with more access to free quality concepts.”
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.