TEDxAlbany is returning

TEDxAlbany red xThe local event based on the popular TED conferences -- TEDxAlbany -- is scheduled to return November 14 for the first time since 2011. The conference will be at Overit's converted church space in Albany and "will feature a mix of local and national voices, an after-hours networking event and other fun surprises for attendees to enjoy."

The first TEDxAlbany was in 2010, with a follow up in 2011.

Like the original TED, the locally-organized independent TEDx events include a series of speakers giving short presentations on a range of topics. The first two TEDxAlbany events included talks from the Capital District Community Gardens' EJ Krans about the Veggie Mobile, Sarah Gordon about starting FarmieMarket, Union College psychologist Chris Chabris on inattentional blindness, and science communicator Jeremy Snyder on the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

The organizer for this year's TEDxAlbany is Lisa Barone, who spoke at the 2011 event. She's a VP at Overit, which is sponsoring the event.

One of the things that's different about TEDxAlbany this time around is that attendance is by application only. We asked Lisa about that -- and how speakers are being selected...

We hit these questions to Lisa via email and she bounced back answers.

+ Why is attendance by application this year? And how will people be selected?

Attendance is by application as Overit Studios (the live room inside Overit) holds 70 people and we're expecting to see far more interest from the region than that. The goal isn't to be exclusive, but to do what we can to create a diverse, engaged audience. Really, when it comes to the application process and how we're selecting attendees, we want to know what you're looking to get from the event and what you're passionate about so we can fill the room with active participants excited about the types of conversation and thought leadership TEDx is all about.

Here's the online application form. If selected, tickets are $90 and include breakfast, lunch, and an after-party.

+ What are you looking for in potential speakers?

Our unofficial theme for the event is "Impact" and we're looking for conversations that deal with that - the effect or influence of one person, thing or action on another. It may be the impact the Web is having on creativity or the impact diversity has on local communities. We're looking to host real conversations among a diverse crowd. If you have something you're supremely passionate about or that guides you, we probably want to hear about it.
Worth noting is that we're identifying speakers from both inside and slightly outside the Capital Region region (think a 3 hours car ride) to both highlight our local thought leaders, as well as our neighbors.

Here's the speakers online application form.


Wow. That's ... interesting.

I'm sure they'll say their intent is different, but it totally reads as "We're totally exclusive, because we want only the most deep and engaged people, not the general unwashed masses who wouldn't understand our highbrow conversation about chocolate chip cookies."

Yep, I'm Overit, too.

Yeah, I knew that was coming. :) It's hard to get around it because it really is a space thing. We're only allowed so many attendees (both by fire marshal and TEDx) so we have to get a bit creative to maximize it. Don't be too turned off. The unwashed are just as welcome as the regularly groomed.

I'm excited to see the lineup!

ktvorwald - I think the chocolate chip cookie is a topic most people can chime in on. ;) don't be afraid to apply.

But in all seriousness, this is exciting. Looking forward to the lineup as well.

There are a plethora of talented and innovative individuals in and just beyond the Capital Region.

Will the host(s) be mining for this talent as well or just relying on people to apply?

@ Lisa, If you know the comments were coming why didn't you pick a different venue? It seem like you had plenty of time between the last event and this one to locate a place that would hold more people. I would like to attend but doubt my application would be approved.

Is there a reason why the event could not be held in a bigger venue, but still sponsored by Overit Media so that more people could attend?

I agree with ktvorwald, I'm Overit.
This is very elitist. The past 2 TEDx events were in larger spaces. Why not do that again? I understand that Overit wants to sponsor the event, and market their brand, but doing it in there limited space is screaming "we're the cool kids"

Oh hi! Just seeing these!

TEDx events aren't allowed to include more than 100 attendees, so when the 70-80 we'll hold at Overit isn't a considerable difference.

As to "why Overit?" The reason the last organizers weren't able to hold an event in 2011 is because it's very expensive. The technical requirements TEDx insists on and everything that goes into it is a HUGE out of pocket expense - cameras, sound, recording, venue, etc. The event is being held at Overit because the company has a full multimedia room with streaming and recording capabilities in-house. So we're able to eat that cost easier.

When I learned in late 2012 that an event wasn't happening because of those costs, I reached out to the organizers to see if they'd be okay with me taking it over and having Overit sponsor. They were very happy and appreciative of that idea. We're trying to *bring TEDx back*, not turn people away.

Not noted in the post (because I forgot to mention it to Greg) is that we'll be streaming the event online this year, which will open it up to more folks.

No one with a passion to attend will be turned away until we hit that magic number mark.

J, to answer your question, yes! We're absolutely doing our own homework to reach out to folks we think would be great for the event. This includes locals and folks a few hours outside of Albany. If you'd like to suggest anyone, feel free to use the form to do so or you can email me directly.

lisa [at] overit [dot] com

When is the due date for applications? I am not seeing it. Thanks for all the effort, LIsa.

Hi Bethany!

We're looking to close them up by September 6, the latest. Earlier the better, though. :)


Are there any tickets left? I'm just seeing this now and realize it's pretty far past the Sept 6 goal. However, it would be great to attend (since this is happening on my birthday!)

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