TEDxCharleston, an independently organized offshoot of the international TED conference, is back this October with 14 speakers (and four performances) talking on the topic of “Shake It Up.” This year’s all-day event is held at the Charleston Music Hall on Wed. Oct. 18 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets go on sale on Aug. 22.

TEDx Charleston describes this year’s theme:

Shake it Up flips the script on conventional wisdom by enriching our community with unlikely conversation. As an audience of many gathered as one, we’ll explore new perspectives that transcend normal expectations — and kickstart the future by setting invigorated ideas into motion.

As vague as that description sounds, it certainly lends itself to a wide range of topics, and speakers.Dan Bellack is a psychology professor at Charleston’s Trident Technical College who helps his students learn how to improve their thinking to create a “deep, lasting impact in the world.”

Li Chang, a Boeing engineer, works to “leverage complementary strengths to build a culture of better products, experiences, and innovations.”

The founder of CofC’s REACH program, Edie Cusack works with universities to build inclusive programs for students with mild intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

A South Carolina high school student, Sarayu Das wants to increase consciousness about water contamination by discussing solutions to the disposal of contaminants.

CofC biology professor Phillip Dustan talks about the future of Charleston’s underwater ecosystem — and how it’s in our hands.

Feral Creative, comprised of Kris Manning, Becky Becker, Geoffrey Cormier, and Nameless Numberhead duo Maari Suorsa and Henry Riggs, is a troupe of professional puppeteers. Not to play favorites … but we may be most excited about these speakers. Puppets rock, y’all.

Engineer and researcher Jason Kerestes has multiple patents for robotic exoskeleton devices and collaborative aerospace manufacturing robotics. Casual.

Clemson University School of Architecture professor Michael Kleiss wants to embrace playfulness in the way we architect our worlds.

Local comedian Jeremy McLellan talks about everything from race to religion in his stand-up. He’s currently on tour in Pakistan — follow him on Facebook.

Steve Palmer is a successful local restaurateur (Indigo Road) who recently, with the help of Charleston Grill GM Mickey Bakst, started Ben’s Friends, an F&B alcohol and drug addiction support group.

Christan Rainey is the founder of Men Against Domestic Violence (MAD USA), a grassroots organization that seeks to put violence at home to rest.

Ranky Tanky, a Gullah quintet comprised of Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Quiana Parler, Clay Ross, and Charlton Singleton, performs music inspired by the sounds of the Sea Islands.

Rene Russell is, like the members of Ranky Tank, a local musician, who has been performing folk rock for over 35 years.

Tina Singleton is the founder of Transformation Table — part meal, part discussion group, an event that seeks to connect community members in people’s homes. Formerly a fashion industry professional, Singleton wants to “bring the city’s diverse neighbors together, one meal at a time.”

A former cognitive researcher, Jake Stauch founded NeuroPlus, a company that helps kids find focus through brain-sensing technology. Got a fidgety kid? You can get a free consultation “clinically proven to improve focus, calmness, and self-control — or your money back,” at neuro.plus.

Brian Sullivan, a clinical psychologist, CofC professor, and software company co-founder (do less, Brian), is the creator of morphii, an app that helps people communicate and be understood using the science of emotion. That’s right, y’all, emotion data.

CofC grad Emily Torchiana is the founder of The Invisible Illnesses, a nonprofit that hopes to “reduce the stigma surrounding mental health by providing a platform for individuals who suffer from mental illnesses to share their stories and connect with others.”

Vickie Waller is the CEO of SB6Technologies, a local business to business (B2B) tech business that wants to help small and family businesses “capture the benefits of today’s e-marketplace.”

And last, but definitely not least, is our favorite Charleston poet laureate, Marcus Amaker, who will be serving as TEDx Charleston’s 2017 emcee.

Learn more about TEDx Charleston at tedxcharleston.org.


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