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Stephen F. Austin State University

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TEDxSFA to highlight innovative concepts and ideas

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Unique insights, personal stories of change, innovative concepts and "ideas worth sharing" will be featured at TEDxSFA, slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. The event is open to everyone, and registration information can be found at www.sfasu.edu/TEDxSFA.

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level, according to information at www.ted.com.

While the event is an independent project of the organizers, SFA is providing the venue in a collaborative venture, according to Mark Turner, local organizer and associate professor of music at SFA.

"One thing that makes our country great is that our universities are in a unique position to influence research, innovation and creativity in all areas," Turner said. "As a university, part of SFA's mission is to foster critical and creative thinking. TEDxSFA is an opportunity for faculty, students and people in our area to hear and become inspired by cutting-edge research, powerful stories of change and humorous tales of everyday struggles of those who are trying to make a difference."

The theme of TEDxSFA is "Perspectives," the idea being to provide a venue for seeing and hearing new or different perspectives to unique or common issues, Turner said.

Among the many scheduled speakers are David Smith, a National Park Service employee who has worked as a park naturalist, law enforcement ranger, firefighter and biologist, and Dr. I-Kuai Hung, associate professor of spatial science with the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA. Other speakers include a building materials specialist, an outdoor recreation educator, an organic farmer, a management consultant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and an early childhood educator.

There will be four sessions of speakers and several long breaks in between sessions during which time participants can engage in collaborative activities, watch artists create work that illustrates their perspective on the ideas presented during the session and talk with speakers in greater depth about their ideas.

This is the first TEDxSFA event, but organizers are planning for it to be an annual project. Other future TED-sponsored events may include youth events, women's events and global events, Turner said.

Registration is $40 per person for the all-day event and includes lunch. To register, visit http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/6422.

"This is an independently organized TED event," Turner explained. "If you want to enjoy the TED that you see on YouTube, you'll have to go to California. What makes this event special is that we focus on innovation and creativity that is happening right here at SFA and in our region of Texas. We want to highlight the diverse views of those who make a difference in our corner of the world."