Columbia, Des Moines to host TEDxCity2.0 events Oct. 13
Columbia, Mo. and Des Moines will join cities across the world on Oct. 13 in hosting local TEDxCity2.0 conferences focused on the future of urban spaces.
But on Oct. 13, those independent events will be united by the theme City 2.0. The global event came about because City 2.0 won the 2012 TED Prize, marking the first time an idea — rather than an individual — won the cash award.
The TEDXCity2.0 website has more on the theme of the day:
For one day only, the TEDx platform will harness the power of people across the globe to encourage them to host a TEDx event, themed "City 2.0," featuring the brightest local minds and biggest hearts. In unison, we'll share the stories of our beloved homes. Where are the bright spots? The creative adaptations? The transformative responses to injustice? Who is asking the most pressing questions? Pioneering the most complex solutions? Speakers may focus on official City 2.0 themes, including Art, Education, Food, Health, Housing, Play, Public Space, and Safety – all elements whose presence will dictate the success of our future cities.
The Columbia event takes place from 9 a.m-noon inside the Columbia City Council Chambers (701 E. Broadway). The Des Moines conference from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. inside the Temple for Performing Arts (1101 Locust). More details, including speaker lineups and ticket information, are available on the events' websites.
For more about the City 2.0 theme in general and the Des Moines event in particular, we conducted an email interview with Des Moines organizer Alexander Grgurich (pictured below).
Silicon Prairie News: What made the TEDxDesMoines organizers interested in getting involved with the City 2.0 event?
Alexander Grgurich: We've heard from our surveys that attendees just can't wait for only one TEDxDesMoines event every year. When TED pushed for TEDx events around the world to organize local events themed around "the city 2.0" on October 13, we couldn't turn down that opportunity to be a part of the global conversation around this important topic.
SPN: How much more work has that meant for you all beyond your normal TEDx duties?
AG: Our whole planning team is an all-volunteer group. In fact, TED does not allow us to personally profit from each event, so to say it's been tough juggling everything is an understatement. Although our workload has jumped dramatically, it's worth it when we go to the event and see people from all sorts of backgrounds and disciplines mixing, mingling, and pushing the community forward.
SPN: The event is touted as a chance to "re-imagine our cities." Take a moment to re-imagine Des Moines — what do you envision?
AG: I think Des Moines is on the right track and has a ton of momentum. If I have to re-imagine Des Moines for the next century and beyond, I'd advocate for a much better, pervasive public transportation system, denser neighborhoods and urban in-fill projects, and a populace that actually turns out and votes in local elections so that we have visionary leaders that help keep pushing the bar.
SPN: What are some of the specific, unique assets Des Moines can utilize to make itself into a city of the future?
AG: Our proximity to so many populated areas in each direction (Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Omaha, etc.) puts Des Moines in a great position to market itself as a city that has tremendous opportunity for you, but close enough to still duck out and explore the bigger world. Our leaders are extremely approachable here, and I think if we continue to create that kind of dynamic, where leaders truly listen and engage, and not just pat younger people on the head, we'll be able to achieve really great things.
SPN: What do you hope people who attend the event walk away with?
AG: I would hope attendees walk away having been inspired, met at least two people they wouldn't have otherwise met in their lives, and have learned actionable ways they can make things different for their community.
Update 5:15 p.m. – When story was orginally published, it incorrectly referred to TEDxCoMo as TEDxColumbia. The story has been updated to fix this error.
Credits: Photo of Grgurich from linkedin.com.