Inspirational speaking event coming to C-K

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John Lyons, left, and Brandon Houston, two of the TEDx Chatham organizers, go over some related materials as they finalize the inspirational speaking event that takes place in town Feb. 13 at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre.
John Lyons, left, and Brandon Houston, two of the TEDx Chatham organizers, go over some related materials as they finalize the inspirational speaking event that takes place in town Feb. 13 at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre.

In two weeks, TEDx hits Chatham.

A group of speakers will engage a gathering of 100 people at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre Feb. 13, discussing the theme, “Small town, big ideas.”

TED events are organized around the world and focus on the idea of  “ideas worth spreading.”

“TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The “x” is a tag to indicate the event is independently organized.

This will mark the first time our community hosts a TEDx.

Brandon Houston, one of the TEDx Chatham-Kent organizers, said bringing such global thinking to this community seemed like a smart move.

“We (Houston and the other TEDx organizers) are all very familiar with the TED talks you see online. We figured Chatham could support it (TEDx),” he said. “A lot of big ideas have come out of Chatham-Kent.”

“Why Chatham-Kent? Why not? That’s the thing,” said John Lyons, local TEDx organizer. “Why do I choose to have my business here? I could be in the GTA and make much more money.”

Lyons, who runs his own photography business and is also a principle owner in HUB Creative Group, moved to Chatham with his wife more than two decades ago, and never regretted it.

“I came for work and then we had a family. It’s a little tougher to do business here than in a bigger city, but the benefits for raising a family far outweigh that.”

Houston, a self-employed graphic designer, was born and raised in Chatham. He left for school and happily returned.

“I lived in Oakville for three years. I have family here, so coming back was an easy decision,” he said. “It was easy to start my business here. Had I stayed in Oakville, I would have gotten a job and lived paycheque to paycheque just to afford to rent an apartment.”

Lyons said he and the other local TEDx organizers – who, along with Houston, include Fannie Vavoulis and Peter Martin – are firm believers of people choosing to remain in Chatham-Kent, or returning to the municipality after post-secondary schooling elsewhere.

“Our job is to make this a better place for everybody.”
The goal behind the local TEDx is raising spirits and motivation.

“We hope people are inspired to try something new,” Houston said.

A growing group of speakers will address the gathering, and include the likes of Brent Foster, Rod Wellington, Megan Nuttall and Chandra Clarke.

TED is quite controlling in terms of what it allows to take place at the TEDx events, the organizers here said. For example, there can be no more than 100 tickets sold for the event, and it cannot turn a profit.

Tickets to the Chatham-Kent TEDx are $75, and the money is earmarked to cover the cost of renting space for the event at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre, the food, and any audio/video equipment.

“We are not allowed to make a dime. The speakers aren’t getting paid,” Lyons said.

With the event less than a month away, half the tickets have already been sold.

“I’m really happy. That’s more than I thought we’d sell at this point,” Lyons said.

Tickets began to sell before any of the speakers were named, he said.

“People aren’t necessarily buying tickets because of the speakers but because it’s a TEDx,” he said. “And we’ve got great speakers.”

Houston said the limit on 100 tickets being sold is actually beneficial.

“It’s a good size. We can get everyone attending to share ideas and network afterwards,” he explained.

The TEDx will begin at 1 p.m. Feb. 13. There will be a break for dinner, and the event will continue into the evening. There will be an after party and time for networking following the event.

For more information and to apply for tickets, visit tedxchathamkent.com.

 

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Dang it! I wish I got a ticket, they sold our so fast. I'd love to attend. I'll keep wishing and going someone who has a ticket and can no longer make it, sees this. Please, UNIVERSE open up to me 🙂

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