Media Advisory: TEDx Conference comes to the Triad

The gates of innovation open wide at Wake Forest University with the inaugural TEDxWakeForestU event on February 25, 2012. TEDxWakeForestU, an independently organized event licensed by TED, will be held from 11am-5pm in Wait Chapel and is open to the public.

The TEDx program allows individuals to organize community events which advance TED’s mission of providing the public with some of the most cutting-edge ideas and “ideas worth spreading.”

“Many TEDx events are very intimate, limited to 100 people or less under the organization’s rules,” said Lucy Lan, lead Wake Forest student organizer, “Our TEDxWakeForestU event is designed for 1,000 attendees, and TED Fellow Dr. Anthony Atala has thrown his support behind it.”
Dr. Atala’s TEDTalk on printing kidneys in 3-D was named one of the top 10 TEDTalks of 2011 and featured on the Huffington Post among other sites. Dr. Atala is part of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Eighteen speakers will give TEDx talks at the Wake Forest event. The conference is divided into three sections: technological innovation, social impact and the entrepreneurial venture. It starts at 11:00am and runs until 5:00pm. The event schedule is designed to allow attendees to pick amongst the speaking sessions that spark their interests, or stay all day.

Unlike a typical lecture on a college campus, TEDx speakers are limited to 18 minutes. “Most of the talks are about a speaker’s passions, research or new ideas about how to innovate,” said Polly Black, director of the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest. “They are highly accessible, informative and entertaining. They are designed to spark the audience’s interest in a new way of thinking.”

Speakers at TEDxWakeForestU include:

  • Dennis Quaintance, who built the Proximity Hotel, which is first U.S. Building Council LEED Platinum-certified building– adhering to very strict energy-efficiency and green building guidelines. He is currently midst of a study to determine if converting that wonderful building into a small luxury hotel is reasonable.
  • DeEtta Famiano, who is using 3-D scanning and computer-assisted design to help architects, commercial construction and preserve historic buildings and furniture.
  • Samuel Cochran, who is co-founder and CEO of Solar Ivy, which is a solar energy device patterned after ivy growing on a building.
  • A complete schedule of speakers can be found at

Tickets for TEDxWakeForestU are affordably priced to make the event accessible to the public. General public tickets are $10 and $5 for students from area colleges and universities. Wake Forest University students, faculty and staff may attend at no cost. Registration will be held online for the all-day conference and the separate networking dinner. The networking dinner is $40.

“We’re excited to invite the community to TEDxWakeForestU to share in the innovative ideas these world-class thought leaders are offering,” said Lucy Lan.  “The amazing thing about TEDx is the way speakers come from the worlds of academia, industry, design, art, or entrepreneurship — with diverse educational backgrounds and life experiences.”

Learn more about TEDxWakeForestU on our website, Facebook page or Twitter.

About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. Learn more about Wake Forest at

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

Stephanie Skordas, 336.758.3826 or

Jake Graham, 336.608.0682 or

Categories: Media Advisory