TEDxHartlandHill hosts inaugural event at Billings Farm & Museum Sept. 24

Tickets now on sale for a full day of inspiring speakers, interactive displays, food, swag, and live music

Saturday, Sept. 24 — WOODSTOCK — TEDxHartlandHill will take place on Sept.24 at Billings Farm & Museum from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The independently organized event, licensed by TED, will feature local voices and TED Talks videos under the theme of “What is Community? Home, Heart, & Hearth”.

Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of locally organized events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on TED.com and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.

Woodstock with its history in conservationism and its reputation as one of the U.S.’s most beautiful small towns, is an ideal place to forge conversations about creating peaceful communities, innovation in business, farming, technology, and living a more sustainable life. TEDxHartlandHill has created a forum to find the best new ideas for building more cohesive communities and to celebrate local innovation with respect for the past and an eye towards the future.

Speakers will address what community means to them under the categories of Home, Heart, and Hearth, at times referring to the literal issues around housing and other times speaking to the less tangible ways that community allows us to build something together.

They include familiar Upper Valley neighbors such as Helen Hong, Executive Director at COVER in White River Junction, and Thato Ratsebe, associate director and programs manager at the Association of Africans Living in Vermont; and guests from afar such as Alpaslan Özerdem, dean and professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Carter School at George Mason University, and former neo-nazi recruiter Tony McAleer, speaking on how we cope with hatred as a community. Artists such as Robert Sturman, international photographer, and Robert DuGrenier, glass artist known for the redesigned flame on the Statue of Liberty, will discuss the impact of their work on society. Recent transplant Ben Mezrich — international best selling author and best known for writing “Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal”, which was then adapted into an Oscar-award winning screenplay as “The Social Network” by Aaron Sorkin — is uniquely positioned to speak on how social media affects our sense of community, for better and worse.

A full list of speakers and their bios can be found at tedxhartlandhill.org/speakers.
Organizer Deborah Greene said, “This is a unique moment of growth in so many communities around the world. This is not just a conversation about one community. This is a conversation that is necessary and happening all over the globe. As we emerge from the last few years, what new ideas are shaping our world? How can we change for the better and still honor the past?  How do we grow our sense of humanity and humility in trying times? And what new innovations can we celebrate?”

The schedule for the day includes breaks for food and drinks, yoga, sound healing, participating in interactive displays, and exploring Billings Farm. The day closes with an after-party hosted by Artistree in the hayloft and featuring the music of KeruBo, a Vermont-based singer/songwriter born in Kendu Bay, Kenya whose musical styling ranges from traditional African music to gospel, blues, and Afro-jazz.

In addition to a full schedule at Billings Farm, TEDxHartlandHill is also putting together an Innovator’s Showcase on The Woodstock Green — a curated marketplace of the best of local “ideas to share” and innovation. This is an opportunity for local innovators, entrepreneurs, and others to illustrate new ideas where innovation is thriving in the community:
Farming + cuisine + sustainability + theatre + technology + activism + housing + arts + business + education + community building + and more.

Speakers at TEDxHartlandHill include:
Jeff Kahn – “Commune to Community”
Tina Packer – “Women & Arts”
Helen Hong – “COVER Home Repair”
Ben Silberfarb – sneak peek of upcoming documentary, “Whitman Brook”
Ben Mezrich – “Social Media and Remote Work”
Dr. Jen Ashby – “Bridges to Health: East Meets West”
Jamie Forbes – “Difficult Conversations”
Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley – “Community”
Tony McAleer – “Tolerance”
Robert Sturman – “International Artist/Photographer”
Robert Du Grenier -” NFT/Glass Blowing”
Thato Ratsebe – “Growing Community”
Alpaslan Özerdem – “Global Connectivity”

Tickets are now on sale in limited quantities and offer the opportunity to participate in the entire day of programming or attend just a half-day. TEDxHartlandHill sponsors include: Mad Old Nut, Woodstock EDC, and Billings Farm & Museum.

For more information about TEDxHartlandHill speakers and a detailed schedule, please visit tedxhartlandhill.org.

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