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This is the seventh installment of a blog series we’re calling “Sarasota Sizzle.” What’s “sizzle,” you ask? The Blink;Tech team’s definition of “sizzle” is what happens at the local intersection of creativity, technology, and entrepreneurship. The more we look around us in Sarasota, the more we discover people, businesses, projects, and initiatives that “sizzle.” And when something sizzles, it’s too good not to share.

Having been involved in two different TEDx events here in the Sarasota area, we at Blink;Tech were very interested to hear about the launch of TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida coming up on Saturday, April 16. For years, the TED experience has been expanding: Starting with educational and inspirational talks from known luminaries and experts in their fields (and the viral videos that followed), TED has branched out into independent TEDx events, empowering change agents around the world to share their visions, wisdom, and insights on Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Yet what makes TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida stand out is that it may just be the first TEDx event to be initiated and organized completely by students.

In a perfect case of being the change one wants to see in the world, Heath Hawkins wanted New College of Florida to live up to its progressive and experimental reputation. Dismayed by the lack of vehicles for innovation, Hawkins crafted his vision for the event, applied to TEDx, and after eight weeks, received his license to organize the first-ever TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida, which he’s spearheaded for the last six months as Lead Organizer and Creative Director.

“I wanted to create an open door for students to unleash their genius and vision at New College,” Hawkins says, “and tap into the collective creativity that I knew existed here.”

TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida will feature a number of New College alumni, such as John Denning, who will explore the intersection of systems theory, artificial intelligence, and the delivery of healthcare services; and Erich Barganier, who will discuss the future of computerized musical compositions. As well, the event will feature current New College students, included Cash Galko, who will speak about how the relationship between biodiversity and technology has impacted human consciousness; and Hayley Trejo, who will discuss the origins of art and technology.

Of course, TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida will also include its own lineup of visionaries: Eric Bear will speak to the future of self-directed education; futurist David Houle will look toward humanity’s need to become true crew members on “Spaceship Earth”; and Morgan Brawner will inspire attending TEDsters to reimagine the possibilities for a sustainable future.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to find the most unorthodox, innovative speakers to showcase the meaning of ‘The Art of Technology’ in a way that you would not find at other TEDx events,” Hawkins says. “The rest is secret and has to be seen at the event.”

Ultimately, the purpose of TED and its TEDx offshoots is to inspire attendees to explore more deeply the art of conscious living by examining how we use our best tools to create the world we wish to see. It was even more inspiring to speak with Hawkins about his vision to break the paradigms of traditional TEDx events and do something different. We here at Blink;Tech are excited to watch the TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida team rediscover the artists within.

What: TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida
When: Saturday, April 16 – 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Where: Harry Sudakoff Center
5845 General Dougher Pl.
Sarasota, FL 34243
Interested in attending? Tickets are on sale for $25 on the TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida website. New College and Ringling students and faculty may attend for free with the submission of an application.

At Blink;Tech, we synthesize cutting-edge web development with creative Internet marketing strategies to help businesses of all sizes and industries succeed on the web. Talk to us today about how we can make your business, project, or idea sizzle.

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