TEDxKC — one of the largest and most-popular independently-organized TEDx events in the world — won’t be back for 2018.
While TEDxYouth@KC and TEDxKCWomen are expected to return in 2018, hitting pause on TEDxKC’s “general ideas” event will allow organizers to reflect on accomplishments, missteps and milestones, said Mike Lundgren, co-founder of TEDxKC.
“We asked two main questions: ‘What TED programming is most valuable to our community right now? And how do we make TEDx events in Kansas City sustainable for another 10 years?’” Lundgren said. “We came to a conclusion that a dual focus on youth and women’s programming makes the most sense at this point in time.”
TEDxKC’s general ideas event hosted thought-provoking presentations featuring speakers from across the world that explored such issues as technology, the future, sex, gender, health, media, popular culture and many others. VML, a global advertising agency headquartered in Kansas City, helped establish TEDxKC in 2009. Lundgren serves as VML’s managing director of innovation strategy.
The TEDxKC general ideas event consistently sold out in minutes, garnering more than 3,000 ticket sales for live and live-streaming events at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The event also spurred several remote watch parties across the metro for the hundreds of people unable to secure a ticket in the flurry of sales.
TEDxKC’s return in 2019 has not yet been determined, Lundgren said.
“Once TEDxKCWomen is on track and there’s at least one event under the new leadership team’s belt, we’ll see about reintroducing a general ideas TEDx event at some point in the future,” he said.
By cutting the broader TEDxKC event, organizers can focus on growing TEDxYouth@KC and TEDxKCWomen, Lundgren said.
“Focusing exclusively on youth and women’s programming will indeed allow those events to become bigger and better,” he said. “TEDxYouth@KC event is already on solid footing, featuring impressive live talks and performances, led by a strong planning team. Our women’s event — TEDxKCWomen — has tremendous potential. With the right leadership team and an emphasis on live talks and performances, it can become one of the most relevant and impactful TEDx women’s events in the country. That’s the goal.”
Past TEDxYouth@KC presentations featured musical performances and lectures on a variety of subjects, including STEM education, health, race and more.
The TEDxKCWomen event coincides with the national TEDWomen conference Nov. 28-30. The program will feature live talks and performances, with select pre-recorded talks from the national conference.
TEDxYouth@KC is set for Sept. 15 and TEDxKCWomen on Dec. 1 at locations yet to be determined. Speaker lineups and ticket sales for those events are not yet available.