Superlatives 2012

Biggest Gossip

People in this town love to talk. While that talk has long been in the stereotypical hushed tones and backroom chatter of our state’s “I know a guy” culture, a new generation …

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People in this town love to talk. While that talk has long been in the stereotypical hushed tones and backroom chatter of our state’s “I know a guy” culture, a new generation of young, highly social professionals is eager to network out in the open. Though events like Pecha Kucha and the Business Innovation Factory Summit appeal to this crowd, TED, the internationally renowned idea sharing conference, remains the gold standard for drawing together innovative thinkers to tell stories, examine problems and discuss solutions. Thus it was only natural that Providence should host a TEDx conference, an independently organized event operating under the auspices of the TED brand. “For me one of the most exciting things about TED is the fascinating people you meet and the fodder for conversation provided by the talks,” says Peter Haas, a TED senior fellow and executive director of an international development charity, who earlier this year launched TEDx Providence. (Full disclosure: Providence Monthly was a sponsor.) Bringing together a series of talks from local entrepreneurs, educators, architects and activists interspersed with videos of international TED Talks, the event sold out RISD’s Metcalf Auditorium a month in advance, and next year’s installment is already in the works (at a bigger venue). “There is so much happening right here in Providence that you rarely hear about,” enthuses Haas. “It is great to have a forum to bring some of those stories forward.”