Local businessman and entrepreneur Mitche Graf has been issued a license to host a TEDx event in the city of Molalla on Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Molalla High School auditorium.
This is an amended date as the original schedule had this event on April 8, but TED officials asked that the date be moved to the fall because of scheduling and logistical conflicts.
“The move to the fall is actually a very good thing. It allows us a longer runway for recruiting some great speakers to take the stage from our local towns - Molalla, Canby, Woodburn, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Salem, Portland and beyond,” Graf said. “We want to shed a light on great ideas from our kaleidoscope of voices who live right here in our own neighborhoods before looking beyond.”
Hosting a TEDx event for such a small town is unique and special, according to Graf.
“It’s a great honor to be able to host such an important event in our little city, and we are excited to share some big and innovative ideas with the world,” said Graf, who will also be the host and emcee for the event. “Our theme will be ‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ and the programs will be focused on ideas that can give the audience a new perspective on how they view innovative thinking.”
Graf said he plans on weaving music, magic, humor and content from the speakers to create a life-changing experience for the audience.
“The line-up of presenters will have been heard and seen by few, but will have a fresh approach in their field, a unique story to tell, or a new perspective to share – which they can convey in a dynamic way,” Graf explained.
Although most of the speakers will be hand-selected by a committee, there are also several speaking spots that will be given to local presenters who have a unique message to share. Local presenters will be given priority over people who submit applications from outside the area.
“We’ve had over 300 applications from people all around the world who want to speak at the event, but our main focus is to highlight big ideas from local folks,” Grafe said. “We are still looking for several of our neighbors who would like to share their ideas. With over 37 million subscribers, the TEDx YouTube channel gives speakers the chance to have their message viewed by literally millions from all walks of life, all around the globe.”
The speaker lineup will be announced beginning in May, and there will be a series of online meet-and-greets during the summer that will be free to the public.
Besides the actual TEDx event, there will also be networking events during the week before that will give people the opportunity to meet other likeminded thinkers and meet some of the speakers in person. Local businesses and organizations will help in bringing these events to the general public.
“Sometimes, a small insignificant thought or idea can grow into a big idea or innovation that can literally change the world. We each have ideas inside of us that we may feel are irrelevant but can potentially have a seismic effect on others. That is the over-arching goal for this event -to help people think differently and give them a new set of eyes” Graf added.
For more information on the TEDx event, purchasing Golden Tickets, merchandise, or how to become a marketing partner, visit www.TEDxMolalla.com or call 888-719-4692, ext. 702.
“The response so far has been overwhelming to say the least,” Graf said. “I’ve been contacted by people as far away as Argentina and Australia wanting to take the stage in Molalla this fall. That speaks to the power of the TEDx brand when it comes to attracting a diverse audience.
“We have a limited number of golden tickets on sale to attend the event live, and I’m 100% certain that this will be a sellout,” he added. “This is an expensive endeavor and we are still looking for marketing partners who are interested in helping me bring this fantastic event to our local communities.”