'Ideas worth spreading' - organising a TEDx event

Dean Frey, of Red Deer Public Library, is busy organising a TEDx event and looks forward to sharing his experiences at ILI2011.

Ideas worth spreading

"Created in the spirit of TED's mission, 'ideas worth spreading,' the TEDx programme is designed to give communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis."

TEDx in Red Deer

In January 2011 Red Deer Public Library applied for and received a license from TED for TEDxRedDeer. We had less than a year to plan and deliver an event in Red Deer, a community of 92,000 people which is half-way between Edmonton and Calgary (Canada). Our event will take place on October 20, 2011. When the after-party is finished, late that day, I'll be driving south 150 km. to Calgary.  The next day I'll fly to Heathrow, and settle in for some London sight-seeing and pub-crawling before the Internet Librarian International Conference takes place the following week.

I'm a risk-taker.  One anagram of 'Dean Frey' is 'Deny Fear'! So I'll be speaking about TEDx and Libraries on October 27th, right after the keynote address, whether TEDxRedDeer is a big success or it crashes and burns. Judging by our results so far, it's very likely to be the former rather than the latter, since the Community Development model we're using to engage the community and plan the event has so far worked like a charm.

Support from TED

You get more than a license from TED. They provide TEDx organisers with a complete template to create a TED-like conference in their own community, connect them with the organisers of the thousands of TEDx events that have taken place in the last two years, and provide some valuable collaboration tools to manage a complex event. Along the way they ensure that the TED brand is protected, and that the goal of the event, promoting 'ideas worth spreading' is always paramount.

The value to libraries of getting involved in TEDx

I'll have lots to say about the value of libraries and librarians becoming involved in local TEDx events. I'll include the results of some research I've done on libraries which have been involved in other TEDx projects around the world. By October I should have some very practical advice to provide to libraries who want to start down the TEDx path. I'll talk about technology, design, and the theatrical experience, but I'll be grounding my entire presentation in some basic principles of community engagement.

Follow our progress

I hope you can make it to ILI2011 in London. Until then, you can follow the progress of TEDxRedDeer by checking out our website and our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter at @TEDxRedDeer and the #TEDxRedDeer hashtag. Also, if you've been involved in a TEDx project yourself, I'd love to include your information in my presentation.  Send me an email at dfrey@rdpl.org.

For more information about TED and TEDx, go to TED.com.

See you in London!

Image of TedX badges courtesy of onemanbandwidth via Flickr.