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Geek Fringe: Sold-out TEDxSavannah still open to livestreaming audiences

  • Clinton Edminster, founder of Art Rise Savannah and Starlandia Creative Supply, shares his 2016 TEDx Savannah talk at the Jepson Center. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Attendees of last year’s TEDx Savannah listen attentively at the Jepson Center. (Josh Galemore/Savannah Morning News file photo)

Geek Fringe: Sold-out TEDxSavannah still open to livestreaming audiences

16 May 2017

Most people fear the thought of public speaking. Not at TEDx.

Speakers overcome the challenge by presenting their passion in life to an audience around the world.

These brave few share the stage with others who are passionate about ideas worth spreading. Lesley Conn, one of the main organizers for TEDxSavannah, contributed to the event planning for this year.

“In 2015, when our local event transitioned from being supported by Creative Coast to a freestanding event known as TEDxSavannah, I was asked to join the new board, Inspire Savannah, which has the sole purpose of building and supporting the local event,” she said.

“Board members Dana Braun, Laura Lee Bocade, Lizann Roberts and Murray Wilson have devoted years of volunteer service to the local TEDx event.This year, we’ve been tremendously lucky to also have Susan Isaacs and Jane Grismer join the board.”

Conn said both speakers and volunteers are important for the event’s success.

“Anyone can apply to be a speaker, but we also have volunteers who help us with all the logistics of the day’s event,” she said.

The application process for the speakers begins the year before the TEDx talk.

“We opened the process in late October for this year’s event,” Conn said. “… You can submit an online application through our website, or through our Facebook page. The application deadline usually ends in January. We review all applications over several weeks and meetings and then announce speakers around February.”

She added that their long-range goal is to produce a TEDxSavannah specifically for local youth.

Although the event, set for May 19 at the Jepson Center, quickly sells out from year to year, they also livestream the entire day for free. You can also watch previous events on their website.

“Anyone with computer access can watch by going to the website,” Conn said. “A short time after the event, videos of each speaker are posted to our website. If you haven’t seen the 2016 speakers, check them out on our website.

“We also are exploring establishing watch parties this year at schools or other public spaces. They would be free and open to the public. Locations, once determined, will be posted on our website.”

One of the 15 guest speakers this year is local storyteller J’miah Nabawi. He is known for performances at schools, libraries and the Savannah Children’s Book Festival. Practicing his craft of storytelling for more than 30 years, Nabawi said getting involved with TEDx helped him learn quite a few new things.

“I’ve never scripted my performances. I usually know what story I am going to perform, and I do it,” he said.

“With TEDx, we went down to practice our speeches, and they gave us feedback for the audiences. It has been a great learning experience for me.”

Geek Fringe is all about geek/tech/nerd culture. Everyone has a passion. Geeks just talk about it non-stop! Email Adam Messer at if you have something geeky to talk about.


TEDxSavannah, set for 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at the Jepson Center, is sold out. Watch it live at