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Third TEDxLehighRiver planned for Allentown in September

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Robert Gordon speaks on the Power of the Apology at last year's event. (File photo)
Robert Gordon speaks on the Power of the Apology at last year's event. (File photo)

Innovative ideas and inspiring talks take center stage once more in Allentown when TEDxLehighRiver returns to Miller Symphony Hall from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19.

The third year for TEDxLehighRiver features idea-focused presentations from five to eight on-site speakers, videos of popular TED talks and networking opportunities. This year’s theme is “Why Not?”

“I was able to attend last year’s program at Miller Symphony Hall,” said Rita Guthrie, owner of Open Door Public Relations in Allentown. “It was impressive, inspirational, fun, enlightening, and it was a great opportunity to network with other open-minded local business professionals, and some college students. I was really amazed at the nature of the speakers.”

A nonprofit dedicated to “ideas worth spreading,” TED began in 1984 as a conference in California where technology, entertainment and design converged. Today it covers almost all topics, including business, science and global issues, while independently run TEDx events share ideas in communities.

She is now on the board of directors for TEDxLehighRiver as part of the communications team. The organization is run by volunteers, she added.

One element of the program she found valuable was the ability to continue the conversations about what the audience heard just after the presentations.

The Allentown event is modeled after hundreds of other TEDx events held worldwide on the same day.

In May, TEDxLehighRiver hosted a smaller salon event at the Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks in Bethlehem in preparation for the September program, which is expected to draw thousands. Last year, there were 100 attendees in which invitations were limited.

“This is a great opportunity for the local business community to be inspired by innovation,” Guthrie said. “It’s really important to continue the conversations with our co-workers and be inspired to think about things from another perspective. It’s open to anyone.”

Television channel PBS39 in Bethlehem became involved three years ago when a community member asked the nonprofit to consider putting on a local TEDx event, said Jessie Heimann, PBS39 marketing director. The first one was hosted at the station.

She is looking forward to seeing TEDx grow.

“The number of local community members engaging with TEDxLehighRiver on Facebook continues to climb,” Heimann said. “On a weekly basis, we hear from potential speakers and attendees, but we love hearing from local TED cheerleaders who tell us to keep up the good work.”

Tickets are $40 ($15 for adults younger than age 25). They are available for purchase at this link.

Adult tickets bought before Aug. 1 can receive a $5 discount by using the code EARLYBIRD

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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