Find your seat early. Look around. It’s okay. It’s what Edith wants you to do. Maybe an old friend will be waving to you from two rows back or maybe you’ll meet someone new. Either way, after the speakers have finished and your head is abuzz with new ideas, you’re going to want to talk with someone.
“A smaller venue is more intimate,” says Edith Howle, curator for TEDxCharleston. “It keeps the audience close enough to the speakers and performers to feel the emotion, to become engaged with what’s being discussed.”
Her plan: put people with fascinating ideas in front of people who will be inspired. Networking, exchanging of cards and social media discussions naturally follow. Ideas seeding discussions seeding actions seeding even more ideas, discussions and actions.
Edith’s early years were split between Japan and South Carolina. Then came a highly successful career as a management consultant. These days, when she’s not busy with TEDxCharleston, she enjoys traveling the world. Together with her husband, she’s visited at least 63 different countries and has gained a wealth of stories from each and every one.
“For me, the whole purpose is to bring recognition to people with great ideas,” she says. TED’s tagline is Ideas Worth Spreading and Edith’s hope is that TEDxCharleston, a local, independently organized event, will help make that happen. Scholarships make the event accessible to those who might not otherwise be able to attend, encouraging a diverse audience from all walks of life and all parts of the greater Charleston area.
For her, the hardest part is narrowing down the list of prospects. “It’s hard to say ‘no’ to someone who has a very worthy idea, and there are so many great ideas out there.”