New connections begin, old connections get stronger, and lots of people have been taking action and creating change. Our local TEDx community is extraordinarily proud of what our speakers and attendees have been doing and we’re excited to share our accomplishments with the millions of global TEDx-sters out there.

December 04, 2014

What’s the difference between TED and TEDx? — x Marks the Spot
Category: Community

TEDx by the Numbers

When you were a kid, did you ever watch a cool science fiction movie and then turn an old stereo box (back when people bought stereos) into your own Starfighter, pretending your teddy bear was a miniature Wookie? Or did you buy the Martha Stewart Holiday Issue and make all the recipes and decorations for your own party? That’s what TEDx is to TED. It’s taking a great concept done phenomenally well, and doing it yourself, locally.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) events are biannual conferences where dynamic and influential speakers present “ideas worth spreading” in 18 minutes or less. These talks are then translated and posted on the internet—free!—so that the whole world can be inspired. TEDx events are different. The “x” designates them as “independently organized TED events” that are locally inspired and locally produced. To date, more than 1200 cities from 134 countries have put on TEDx events for almost four million viewers. Some TEDx events are small (50 people listening to a few people over a couple of hours), some are quite large (hundreds, even thousands, of attendees at multi-day events with 15-30 speakers). Some are urban, some rural; some connected to universities, others to businesses or communities. Each one unique.

Local means focused. A careful balance between speakers and audience gives each TEDx event its own distinctive characteristic. We of TEDxMtHood (formerly known as TEDxConcordiaUPortland) are now well into the planning of our fifth annual event. The intent is to select presenters and ideas that will reflect the cultural idiosyncrasies of those living within sight of Mt. Hood. True to the bumper sticker, we hope they’ll keep it weird; while at the same time be familiar, descriptive, and beneficial to us.

Of course, there are “rules” that all these diverse and independent TEDx events have to follow in order to stay true to the TEDx brand. (Interested? Read more here.)

Providing normal, everyday, passionate people the opportunity to morph a global phenomenon into hometown event, “x” marks the spot—a spot near you. TEDx is proof that any good idea worth spreading is one worth contextualizing. 

I realize it’s too late, but if instead of reading you’d rather watch a video on this subject, check out this YouTube link.

TEDx numbers illustration

Illustration by John Petri

Ted Moeller

Feeling called to be part of the TEDx team—by name even!—Ted Moeller is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (a paratrooper chaplain) to plant a church in Vancouver, Washington. Ted loves the Pacific Northwest—its coffee, microbrews, sports teams, even its weather! In addition to being a pastor he is also a professor at Concordia University. Formerly, he was a high school basketball coach, a disk jockey, and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1988, sharing it with 35,000 other peacekeepers!). He married Patricia Chylla of Bloomfield Hills, MI, a third of a century ago. They have two children, Laura and Rebecca, and a Labrador named Kona.