TedX Providence Returns

In October, the popular TED Talk will get its own Rhode Island flavor when TEDxProvidence takes place for the seventh time.

Slated for October 13, the event is expected to draw more than 1,000 people. Although the Ted Conference provides general guidance, TEDx events are organized locally and independently managed, meant to provide a similar event to the TED Talks that have gained popularity online since 2006.

Michael Gazdacko is the license holder for this year’s event. He told Motif that this year is his first as the license holder from TED — “It is a little bit of a learning experience,” he said — but he has been involved with the Providence event’s organizing committee for several years. He is also chairman of the Providence Speaking Society.


“This year we will have a special sponsorship from Infosys that will bring some interesting interactive art displays, chill spaces and performers,” Gazdacko said. The event is additionally sponsored by the Rhode Island Foundation.

No speakers are currently scheduled, though speaker nominations closed in April, but Gazdacko noted that the event is centered on the theme The Time Is Now. Last year’s speakers included representatives from a variety of disciplines, including artists, activists, entrepreneurs and educators. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was also a speaker at last year’s event.

“The goal of the conference is to allow the speakers to capture the zeitgeist of our time around their specific areas of expertise,” he said. “The talks are always unique and each year tend to surprise even the organizers in their breadth and originality.”

TedXProvidence will take place at the Vets Auditorium on the Avenue of the Arts in Providence on Saturday, October 13 at 10am.