‘Chuk-Shon to Tucson’: TED Talks Event Inspires Downtown this Friday

December 4, 2013


From left to right: Alessandro Circiello, Stephanie Bermudez, and Neil Antonio Diamente convene on the rooftop before last year’s TEDxTucson event.

 by James J. Jefferies

Over the last few years, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences have become some of the most popular video content on the Internet, with the series of talks garnering more than a billion total views. Major figures who have given TED talks range from former presidents (Bill Clinton and Al Gore), to entertainment industry heavyweights (JJ Abrams), to influential figures in the tech arena (Bill Gates and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin).

One of TEDxTucson’s key organizers, Stephanie Bermudez, became involved with TED after she came across one of these videos two years ago. “I found the talks to be interesting, and I was amazed at how well they were constructed and delivered.” She became an avid viewer of the talks, and was motivated to become part of the movement upon discovering there was a locally organized TEDxTucson program already in motion.

The core idea behind TED is to organize presentations from some of the most prominent thinkers in a variety of related fields, and to have these talks accessible for free to a global audience (their slogan being ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’).

Jade Beall is a local Tucson photographer who has gained international fame through her A Beautiful Body Project, a series of books and web based images of women.

Jade Beall, a local Tucson photographer, gained international fame through A Beautiful Body Project.

TEDxTucson will be holding its 4th annual event this Friday, December 6th at 8pm (doors open at 6pm) at the Rialto Theater, titled ‘TEDxTucson: Chuk Shon To Tucson’. This event will feature TED videos, local artists and live music, and seven prominent speakers, among them, Jade Beall.

“Jade Beall moves me,” said Bermudez. “She is one of the most inspiring women I have ever crossed paths with…her work is touching thousands of lives around the world.” Beall will be speaking about A Beautiful Body Project, which draws from Beall’s experience as a photographer, massage therapist, and women’s dance teacher. The guest lineup also includes Dr. Allan Hamilton, Sudha Ram, Marcelino Flores, Dr. Esther Sternberg, Christopher Cokinos, and Dr. David Armstrong, all of whom will be delivering talks in that signature TED style that blends engaging oral storytelling and energetic presentation.

As for what she expects attendees to take away from this event, Bermudez offers this robust assessment: “To keep learning as long as you live. No matter how much you know, there is always more to know, and knowledge that does not advance the cause of humanity is not worth pursuing. These I’ve learned from TED.” Tickets are $21, with $10 tickets available for students and military, and can be purchased on the TEDxTucson website.