If Nelson Dellis reaches the top of Mount Everest in 2013, he will have reached a milestone in raising awareness of Alzheimers disease.
As the USA Memory Champion for two years running, Dellis has combined his passion for mountain climbing with memory awareness. The University of Miami graduate started training his memory in 2009 after watching his grandmothers memory deteriorate from Alzheimers. He created Climb for Memory, a non-profit organization that combines climbing with Alzheimers awareness. Dellis, 28, has climbed Mount Rainier, Mount McKinley, Mont Blanc, and almost reached the summit of Mount Everest.
Dellis is one of the speakers at Fridays TEDx program at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, one of four upcoming TED-inspired events in South Florida.
Speaking at TEDx is a great way for me to share my cause with the community and show everyone how and why I got inspired to do what I do, said Dellis, a Miami native.
The conferences are an offshoot of TEDTalks, a forum that began in 1984 and has featured such luminaries as Bill Gates and Bill Clinton discussing world issues. Since then, more than 1,000 TEDTalks, in 18 minutes or less, have been held across the globe and are featured free on the website TED.com (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design).
The TEDx program is an independently organized branch of the TED organization that allows communities to stimulate a TED-like experience in a local setting.
The two big goals of TEDx are for people to share new ideas and secondly, for these thinkers to connect with others who want to learn and share their thoughts, too, said Matthew Haggman, the Miami program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a co-curator of TEDxMIA. The Knight Foundation helps fund the event.
The first program is TEDx Coconut Grove, from 12 to 9 p.m. Friday at Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. The theme is Square One: The Power of Reinvention.
In addition to Dellis, speakers include entertainment mogul Emilio Estefan, civil-rights activist Thelma Gibson, and Phil Lord, the director of 21 Jump Street and co-executive producer of How I Met Your Mother.
Our goal is to have an event that accurately represents our entire community, said John King Jr., director of studies at Ransom.
Speakers will include students and teachers from Ransom Everglades.
Catherine Lindsay, a sophomore and Miami Herald intern, will speak on modern feminism.
Im speaking on the different waves of feminism and issues that the modern feminist faces today, said Catherine. I think it is time for me to spread my ideas and show people why I am a feminist.
Matt Mistele, a senior, will discuss on video games.
I want the audience to step back and see how we can break the pattern of generic game designs and have them look forward to meaningful game play, he said
Math teacher Jean Duty will take a more mathematical approach to Square One.
My talk is about from one to infinity to show how everything is made from infinite numbers, said Duty. Square one is the beginning and there is an infinite number of beginnings.
At the end of the event, one speaker will be awarded the Hope Prize, modeled after the TED Prize. The award will recognize a thinker with a specific wish and encourage the audience to help make the recipients wish come true.
The next TEDx events will be on Oct. 23 at the New World Center in Miami Beach, on Nov. 9 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, and on Nov. 15 at Florida International University.
The October event is TEDxMIA, which is in its third year and focused on Miami issues. One of last years speeches by Scott Rickard, a mathematician, went viral with more than 600,000 views online.
Our theme, Framing the Future, fits with Miami as were in a city that is constantly looking forward, said Haggman. Miami is a city that is really engaging in all the latest developments.
The first November program is sponsored by The Cushman School and is called TEDxYouth@Miami. The second is sponsored by FIU.
Our theme this year is Meet. Inspire. Share, said Arvi Balseiro, the TEDxYouth@Miami Curator and Head of The Cushman School. It sums up everything we want students to do when they attend the event.
Going into its second year, the event is meant to give students a platform to share their ideas. Speakers are not only students from The Cushman School, but all youth ages 6 through 25.
Being in Miami means living in a hub of people that truly are the thinkers, innovators, and creators of tomorrow, Balseiro said. TEDx gives us a chance to look outside the classroom and instead think globally.
This story has been updated with the correct information about tickets to the TEDxFIU event.