TEDxEast Explores How We Can “Tinker, Noodle, Obsess” to Unearth Innovations and Resolve Problems

Michelle Rhee, founder of StudentFirst and Matthew B. Crawford, author of ‘Shop Class as Soulcraft,’ among speakers

NEW YORK, February 25, 2011 – TEDxEast, the premier east coast conference that curates industry leaders and thought innovators announced, “Tinker, Noodle, Obsess,” an independently organized TEDx event to be held at The Times Center in the NY Times building on May 9, 2011. During the daylong conference, a select group of influential thoughts leaders and innovators will explore the things that capture our attention and get stuck in our heads or under our skin. The speakers come from diverse backgrounds, each representing the point of view of someone who “tinkers,” “noodles” or “obsesses” with a particular topic or idea.

Curator Julianne Wurm says, “At this event we will explore the ideas, hobbies, obsessions, talents and endeavors – sometimes hidden – that a diverse group of people are tinkering, noodling and obsessing about. With that, we encourage New York’s finest tinkerers, noodlers and obsessors to join us in May.”

The expected crowd of 400 will hear from and network with speakers from all walks of life, including:

  • Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools system and current founder of StudentFirst, a political advocacy organization that works on education reform issues
  • Matthew B. Crawford, philosopher, mechanic and author of Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, who destroys the pretensions of the high-prestige workplace and makes an irresistible case for working with one’s hands
  • Gever Tulley, by day a software engineer, but at heart, a tinkerer and founder of the Tinkering School, where lucky kids get to play with their very own power tools
  • Lauren Redniss, Pulitzer Prize nominated writer and artist
  • Nancy Callan, glass blowing artist who explores the notion of play as an important component in creativity
  • William Ryman, artist who recently installed a garden of 25ft-high flowers along Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side
  • Elke Weber, expert from Columbia University’s Earth Institute on behavioral models of judgment and decision making while under risk and uncertainty
  • Alex Petroff, president of Working Villages International, a non-profit organization dedicated to building self-sufficient and sustainable villages all over the world

TEDxEast was founded by a committee in 2009 that includes Marisa Farnia, Julianne Wurm and Connie Frances Avila. TEDxEast is a bi-annual event that brings together innovators and inspirational speakers to the New York metropolitan area and promotes TED’s mission of “ideas worth spreading.” Operated under license from TED, and true to the format of the TED experience, TEDxEast presenters will give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less.

Click here to register for the conference. The talks will also be simulcast live on http://www.tedexeast.com and available via Livestream.

TEDxEast will also announce additional speakers in the weeks leading up to the May event. For ongoing updates, follow TEDxEast on Facebook and Twitter.

About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED. To learn more about TEDx, please visit Ted.com/tedx.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; 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.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TED2011, “The Rediscovery of Wonder,” will be held February 28-March 4, 2011, in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs, California. TEDGlobal 2011, “The Stuff of Life,” will be held July 11-15, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.



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