CHICAGO, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TED videos have been viewed by more than 1.1 billion people around the world; still more have read TED books, engaged in TED conversations and taken part in independently produced TEDx events. In May, 650 Chicagoans will have the chance to take part in TED's mission of "ideas worth spreading." Still more will have the opportunity to watch livestreaming of innovators, thought leaders and civically engaged celebrities delivering talks via www.tedxmidwest.com and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
"In just 18-minutes each, celebrities, scientists, heroes and hackers will share life changing insights and ideas," explained Mike Hettwer, a serial entrepreneur, National Geographic contributing photographer and the event's organizer for the third year. "An equally amazing audience of engaged, influential Chicagoans will take part in the conversations that spark collaborations and will change our community and our world."
On Thursday, May 2 from 1-6 pm and on Friday, May 3 from 9-6 pm, TEDxMidwest will take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. The TEDxYouth@Midwest event for Chicago public school students and the teachers who nominate them, will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 10-4 pm.
This year's speakers include:
- Joi Ito, director of the renowned MIT Media Lab and one of the 25 most influential people on the web according to Business Week
- Lawrence Lessig, Harvard professor and activist and one of the most popular speakers at TED 2013
- Paul Salopek, Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who will spend the next seven years walking across the world
- Ron Finley, funny and outspoken urban gardening activist from South Central LA and TED 2013 speaker
- Carol Marin, two-time Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times
- Jenn Lim, former chief happiness officer at Zappos and co-author of the bestseller "Delivering Happiness" about Zappos' exceptional customer process and culture
- Joel Sartore, a top National Geographic nature photographer and a poignant, insightful and "standup-comedian funny" speaker
- Shaka Senghor, a former felon turned peacemaker/author who served 19 years in prison and is now a leader in the national urban peace movement
- Bill Strickland, MacArthur "Genius" Award winner, former TED speaker and hero recognized for training thousands through the poetry of fountains, arts and dreams
- Frank Heidt, one of the world's top computer security experts and an expert at information warfare, who will demonstrate several techniques live and discuss recent events in China
- Jeanne Gang, MacArthur Fellow and architect who has created some of the hardest working, most beautiful and sensual buildings
- Dave Gallo, underwater explorer and oceanographer who has given one of the most popular TED Talks ever
- Stephen Petranek, provocative futurist who will give an updated version of his popular and provocative TED talk on "Ten Ways the World Could Suddenly End"
- Rick Smolan, publisher of the bestselling photo books in history and former TED speaker who has just completed a photo book on big data
- Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, responsible for managing more than $3B in assets, who will speak on financial literacy
- Erin McKean, witty lexicographer, dictionary start-up CEO and former TED speaker, who will be our host
- Benjamin Harrison, Wake Forest University professor who prints human organs that have been used by people for more than 10 years
- Tierney Thys, marine biologist and passionate advocate for the sea who will talk about crazy, creative ways to spark ocean conservation
- Dr. Jimmy Lin, heroic doctor and TED Fellow working to solve undiagnosable diseases using gene mapping and crowdfunding
- Brian Knappenberger, director of "We are Legion" about the infamous hactivist group Anonymous
- Brian Babylon, hilarious NPR/WBEZ radio personality and standup comedian who will emcee our TEDxMidwest Youth event
- Jullien Gordon, hip, young, urban youth advisor and TEDx Youth@Midwest favorite who is back this year with a new talk
- Linda Stone, former Apple and Microsoft executive who coined the phrase "continuous partial attention" and is recognized for her research on attention and the physiology of technology
- Chris Pierce, lyrical and soulful musician with a hearing disability who will play several songs on guitar during the event
- Zoe Damacela, formerly homeless, young Chicago entrepreneur and NFTE graduate who was featured on cover of Seventeen magazine
- People's Orchestra, award-winning student orchestra, led by composer Albert Oppenheimer, that follows the TED Prize winning musical curriculum – El Sistema – from Maestro Abreu
- Emerson Spartz, young Chicago entrepreneur who founded huge Harry Potter site at age 12 and now has web sites that generate 30 million page views per month
In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED has created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience; x = independently organized TED event. TEDxMidwest brings together top innovators and amazing speakers from Chicago and the rest of the world to spark deep discussion and connection. This year's TEDxMidwest will incorporate introNetworks, a unique platform to encourage useful connections between attendees. When attendees register on introNetworks, the software will recommend other attendees to meet at the event based on shared interests.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.
Follow TED on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDTalks and on Facebook at facebook.com/TED.