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Popular Idea-Sharing Event Returns To Philadelphia

Temple Campus (File photo)

Temple Campus (File photo)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILDELPHIA (CBS) – The popular speakers event “Ted X” returns to Philadelphia this week, after a three-year hiatus. The all-day event Friday held at the Temple Performing Arts Center is sold out.

The theme — the new Workshop of the World — pays homage to Philadelphia’s industrial past, but the event firmly faces forward, with a speakers list of 20 designers, artists and problem-solvers, such as Austin Seraphin, who’s helped everyone from app designers to museums make their products accessible to people with disabilities:

“Companies really need to start thinking about accessibility, not just as satisfying a small percentage of the users, but as a critical point of design, that it means better design overall,” he says.

Austin, himself, is blind and will also talk about echo-location, the technique he uses to give him the equivalent of long-range vision as he navigates the city.

Co-founder Emaleigh Dooleigh says they’re the sorts of “Ideas Worth Sharing” the series is known for — the kind that allowed it to sell out, despite having twice as many seats as the last one in 2011:

“We sold out before we announced any speakers, so it was sort of like we were able to sell out the conference with reputation alone.”

Dooleigh says you can still watch, though. The event will be live-streamed here.

If you’re looking for a group experience, Dooleigh says there will be viewing parties at five locations:

- The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News offices in Center City
– CultureWorks Greater Philadelhia in Midtown Village
– Impact HUB in Northern Liberties
– Mighty Engine in Old City
– Philadelphia Center for Architecture across from the Convention Center

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for those events. Speakers begin at 9 a.m. and continue until about 6 p.m.

Dooleigh adds the organizers also hope to begin producing year-round events:

“So audiences can expect to see different types of events coming from Philadelphia TEDx in the future, whether those are small lectures or tours or a salon series or even smaller conferences that take a more specific focus or look at a particular issue.”

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