08 Jul 2014

My First TEDxSMU Experience

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By Heather Hankamer, Director of TEDxSMU & TEDxKids@SMU on July 8, 2014

October 10, 2009 was not a normal Saturday for me. That morning I was making my way to the SMU campus for what I thought was a typical full-day conference. From the first moment I arrived in the Owen Arts Center lobby I knew something was different. As the crowd waited for the theater doors to open there was energy in the conversations going on around me. Even though I only knew a handful of people in the room I felt very much in the company of friends.

That first TEDxSMU produced by Sharon Lyle shaped what I have come to appreciate as the ultimate conference experience. A day, an experience that is for passionate people from all parts of our community whose main goal is to share and spread big ideas.

Since 2009 TEDxSMU has grown and evolved. Not only do we engage our community with year round events like auditions and salons, we have added programs on campus at SMU to engage the next generation of thinkers.

On November 1st in the lobby of the Dallas City Performance Hall you might catch me standing by myself silently observing the conversations and interactions going on around me during a break. I’m reliving that epiphany moment from 2009. That moment when I realized I was lucky to be engaged in a community of passionate thinkers and doers in the city that I love.


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