Mix it Up: The collisions are what will make this conference, and this city, great

By Tim Carter, the Director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology

I’m sure most of us have experienced an event where a room was pregnant with anticipation. Not the “we-just-found-out” pregnant, but the “get-ready-to-push” pregnant. Right before the band comes on stage, prior to the results of the big vote, in advance of the controversial proposal. You can taste the anticipation and everyone in the room knows that something special is about to happen. The first time I experienced this after moving to Indianapolis in 2009 was at a fall Pecha Kucha Indy event in The Toby at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The place was ready to blow.

Last year, at the same venue, TEDxIndianapolis was launched and there was a similar, palpable buzz in the air. Here was a chance to hear from and see some of the latest and greatest thinkers and doers from around the country, and here in Indianapolis,who were working on designed learning solutions. I was fortunate enough to join these speakers in presenting some of our own ideas based on projects and concepts we were fleshing out at the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University. One of the benefits of presenting under TED’s structured guidelines is that it really helps focus your ideas and forces you to succinctly communicate to an audience that likely has little to no technical proficiency in your area of expertise.

Which is what makes this year’s theme of Mix it Up so great. The beauty of bringing a diversity of people and ideas together in one place is that it creates opportunities for the audience to merge seemingly disparate themes together to create novel outcomes. Explicitly bringing in speakers who don’t just think outside of the box, which is a hallmark of TED, but who build new boxes with others who view the world very differently than they do, can only improve upon prior ways we’ve been problem-solving.

Jamming these diverse points of view together in one place is what I’m anticipating will happen at this year’s TEDxIndianapolis (which will be held Oct. 22 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre). These collisions are what will make not just this year’s conference great, but what will make a place like Indianapolis a great city to live in as well.

Want to Mix it Up with us? Get your tickets, here.

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