At the Civic Theatre - venue for TEDxGR the last three years.

At the Civic Theatre - venue for TEDxGR the last three years.

So this is kinda funny: as I sat down to write a post on year III at TEDxGrandRapids, I thoughts I'd first read my entries from the years past: Year I & Year II. In short, my post had a whole lot of, "I'm single and proud" and some more of, "I'm an independent woman and not getting married til I'm 30."

Welp, here I am a year later engaged to be married (shakes fist in the arm). 

Also worth a mention is how tan my skin was year one. That, my friends... is what a 23-year-old Nichole who's just gotten herself a serious spray tan looks like. Slap me next time I do that. 

Back to TEDx. TED, the mother ship of conferences is an annual event held in California. It's invite only and hosts speakers from around the world who present on topics including Technology, Entertainment, and Design = TED. The 'x' in TEDx indicates an independently organized TED event. In short the conference is a platform to share ideas worth spreading and for the third year in a row GR hosted it's own conference. 

Throughout the day the audience listened as the stage filled with stories of overcoming obstacles, creativity, expertise, and yes... innovation. There were 4 sessions (I was only able to make it to 3) of speakers and musicians, followed by a kick-ass party at the UICA.  In all honesty, while I enjoy the speakers very much, the after party is always my favorite part. I'd rather be moving around socializing than sitting still any day. 

Also an observation, this year I noticed more than ever the lack of 20-somethings in the crowd. I'm awful at guessing numbers and statistics but if you're twisting my arm I'd say 20-somethings made up about 10% of the (again I'm guessing) 1,500 person crowd. Perhaps it was the high cost of the ticket? Maybe it was because they couldn't get the time off work? Did they even apply to attend? Why or why not?

Furthermore, if we are talking about innovation, action, and the future of our community (and beyond) wouldn't it make sense to have those who will soon be driving these things forward in attendance? 

Whatever the reason (cost, schedule, interest), I think it might be worth at least a conversation on how Year IV can include more millennials. 

{  NRS  }

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