The TEDxPittsburgh Talks and Why You Should Attend!

I am going to introduce you to a quote, not a life-changing Pinterest board style quote or one to ponder, but a quote ripped from a talk discussing possible new technologies: “Let me talk about how you might input information. And my favorite example is always fingers. I’m very interested in touch-sensitive displays. High-tech, high-touch.” This quote is ripped from a Ted Talk circa 1984 by Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the MIT Media Lab who also founded the One Laptop per Child Association. 30 years ago — the year I was born — Nicholas talked about the technologies we take for granted today as if, back then, they were the technologies of the soon tomorrow. Thanks to the internet, 30 years later we can finally appreciate all of his predictions from that talk.

Exposure to new ideas or thought processes help to change the course of our chosen path in life. It defines our character and shapes our perspective. Edward de Bono said, “If you never change your mind, why have one?” TED Talks spread new ideas and open those who are willing to listen to a whole new world and new way of thinking.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, hence the acronym TED. Today, TED covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


TEDxPittsburgh exists, as you may or may not know, and the upcoming event is one to pay attention to. We talked with Chris Daley, a co-organizer of the upcoming TEDxPittsburgh event about what to expect from this Saturday’s event:

We are the TEDx formerly known as TEDxGrandviewAve. After two awesome years of TEDxGrandviewAve, this is our first year as TEDxPittsburgh. Its a big deal to have the steel city namesake as part of our name, and we wanted to make sure we did the city justice with the TEDx platform. So, we chose the theme of Bridges: Ideas that Connect Us to not only be reminiscent of one of Pittsburgh’s iconic structures, but also to focus on ideas that foster connections. We’ve had a lot of great TEDx talks, last year specifically, on art and technology and what drives an individual to excel at those things. So this year we wanted to focus on community and uncover what is happening in Pittsburgh that affects where we eat, live, and play that brings us closer to our neighbors or to the world.

We’re hoping to amplify some of the great ideas from Pittsburgh that are worth spreading and let both Pittsburghers and the world know that we have something to offer. And hopefully to inspire conversation and even more action.

So everything our TEDxPittsburgh team has been working on over the last 7 months, its with all of this in mind and we can’t wait to see it play out on the Byham Theater stage this Saturday.

Preview of Saturday’s Event:

We had about twice as many applicants as last year, so it was tough to narrow down the list to these 10 speakers, but I think we’ve put together a killer lineup. Our lineup includes a really interesting and varied set of topics and speakers. If our lineup was a playlist, I think you could listen front to back on a road trip and never be bored.

We’ll hear from Dr. Jim Withers who was recently featured on CNN’s Heroes for his work with Operation Safety Net. He’s a leader of the street medicine movement and will essentially tell us more details and thought about why he chose to go beneath Pittsburgh’s bridges to give medical care to homeless individuals.

We’ll also hear from Gab of the Josh and Gab show, and a fresh and funny take on the anti-bullying message. Michelle King is also on the agenda, and is focusing on how to disrupt and rework education in the Pittsburgh area. Diane Turnshek, an astronomer from CMU is going to talk about how we as a community can be more connected to the night’s sky. We’ll even have the point of view from a local high school student on why anybody, from any background, can have an impact.

There are many other talks to look forward to as well, each speaker has what we believe to be an idea worth spreading. The kind of talks you can get lost in on Netflix, or would email to a friend as soon as you see them, or share on Twitter instantly, or better yet, change how you think about the world.

In fact, the cool thing about this set of TEDxPittsburgh talks, as different as they all are, is that there will be moments when the audience realizes that these amazing things are happening here in Pittsburgh. And, in fact, anyone can participate and apply something from each talk. And perhaps, even find the motivation to come up with their own new ideas.

Important thing to note: it is NOT too late to join the party!
You can get tickets for our Saturday event and also for the After Party.

Just use the promo code: bridgespgh to get 25% off.
Purchase Tickets for the talks at the Byham Theater

Tickets for the After Party at SPACE

If you cannot attend Saturday’s events, keep an ear to the ground and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

I am the Most Interesting Pat in the World! Passionately curious about Everything. Master of the Internetz.