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TEDxMilwaukee Spreads Powerful Ideas and Experiences

Oct. 8 event features 10 dynamic Milwaukeeans

Oct. 4, 2016
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An acronym for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, TED Talks was established in 1984 to provide a global medium for spreading influential messages through powerful speeches delivered by expert speakers. The organization has achieved that initial goal, with video of the talks receiving millions of views on YouTube and their website, as well as distribution through a radio show, the “TED Radio Hour,” produced in partnership with NPR.

In the interest of expanding, TED founded the TEDx program in 2009 to enable different communities around the world to host their own installments of the series. In 2014, Milwaukee became one of those communities with the debut of TEDxMilwaukee, a student-run initiative that features 2-15 speakers from throughout the greater Milwaukee area. As fanfare for the event grew, tickets for the program sold out in 2014 as well as 2015.

This year’s installment is entitled “I Am, We Are” and focuses on the shared experiences of the people of Milwaukee and how the efforts of each individual impact our community at large.  The featured speakers come from a variety of backgrounds, including food, finance, fine art, counseling, nonprofit work and education.

Kacee Ochalek, co-president of the event, believes that the speakers will be relatable while also providing distinctive insight into their specific topics. “I’ve seen some TED talks that are not accessible, but we have a good selection where people can identify with the speakers. Anyone can watch and feel connected to their community and the speaker without having prior academic knowledge of the subject,” says Ochalek.

Between speaker sessions, food and beverages will be provided by Valentine Coffee, Halal Guys, Sprecher Brewing Company and Whole Foods. The event has support from the university’s organization UWM Student Involvement, as well as local businesses such as Seadog Creative, which is providing in-kind sponsorship for videography. 

Strong attendance and community support bode well for the future of TEDxUWMilwaukee. Along with local businesses and attendees, Ochalek has also been encouraged by support from UWM’s administration. “They’ve told us that they think we’re running a great program and it’s become a staple of our campus, and they’re going to work with us to make sure the program continues for years to come.”

TEDxMilwaukee will take place Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Peck School of the Arts Main Stage Theater. Doors open at 11a.m. with the first speaker taking the stage at noon. Tickets are $20, or $10 for UWM faculty and staff. Purchase tickets at www4.uwm.edu/psoa/ticketing.


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