‘Pioneers’ Share Secrets at Morgan TEDx Talks

The MSU Spokesman

unnamedMorgan State hosted the annual TEDx Baltimore Conference on Friday, an event that celebrated 19 local “pioneers” and drew more than 600 visitors to the Murphy Fine Arts Center.

A series of speakers shared the secrets of their success in the day-long conference. Speakers ranged from Medea Benjamin, a human rights activist and co-founder of Code Pink and the Global Exchange to Dr. Chris Kraft, a sex therapist who co-directors clinical services at the Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

There are hundreds of TEDx events around the country and each one has a central theme. Speakers may be farmers, writers or doctors but all of them are invited to speak based on the theme. This year, speakers were “pioneers” in some way, innovators who want to influence the world.

“When you’re around pioneers, and innovative people you just get fueled by that,” says one of the speakers, Jennifer Guarino, Vice-President of leather goods for Shinola Detroit. “One idea leads to another so it kind of gets your brain fired up, so it’s a great place to be.” She finds the TEDx talks creative: “The purpose of TEDx is to provoke thoughts and ideas that do get people thinking about things that maybe they aren’t thinking about now.”

Hundreds of people attended the conference from all over Maryland. Some, such as Andrew Rose, follow the organization around the world to help with volunteers. As head of the volunteers at this week’s event, he explained his commitment saying, “It is an electrically charged environment with intellectual people everywhere you turn. It’s inspirational.”

Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown are just a few of the many influential people who have given speeches at TEDx talks across the world. TEDx, a non-profit, focuses on sharing ideas in science, technology, and design.

The program was streamed online tedxbaltimore.com

Photo credit: Morgan State publicity photo by John Moore