Global Education Movement Sweeps Central Oregon Local Community Members Mobilize to Create TEDx Event in Bend


On April 28, Central Oregon will become part of a world-wide movement to empower and inspire communities through global education and dialogue. Bending Rules, a ½ day TEDx event in Bend, will feature 12 extraordinary presenters representing both local and international perspectives.*

Each presenter will deliver a short (five to eighteen minute) talk, demonstration or performance designed to inspire, provide actionable ideas and spark deep conversations and connections among communities, individuals and organizations.

TED is a nonprofit organization that began in 1984 as a conference to promote “thought-provoking ideas that are worth spreading.” The event originated to bring together people interested in technology, entertainment and design (TED). Soon after, the concept expanded to reach broader audiences and evolved into three annual events with two conferences taking place in California (Long Beach and Palm Springs) and a third in Edinburgh UK.

Today, in addition to the annual conferences, TED inspires independently planned and coordinated TEDx events in communities around the world.

Bending Rules is Central Oregon’s first TEDx event and we’ve already witnessed a tremendous response from the creative and insightful people who live here,” said Jim Schell, director of development for Partnership to End Poverty and one of the TEDxBend event champions.

“Our theme is based on the idea that most roadblocks and conventions are merely perceived or self-imposed. Bending rules challenges us to re-think what’s truly possible,” added Schell.

The first four nationally renowned speakers have been confirmed for TEDxBend. The preliminary line up, posted on the website at, includes:

  • Myrlie Evers, civil rights activist, former chairwoman of NAACP and widow of Medgar Evers:
  • Wren LaFeet, dance instructor, performer, choreographer and founder of Nomad Dance, an organization with a mission to re-establish social partner dance as an integral component of popular culture:
  • Sidney Rittenberg, American journalist and only American citizen ever admitted to the Chinese Communist party. Rittenberg spent a total of 16 years in solitary confinement in China. For information about an upcoming movie about his life, visit:
  • Blake Canterbury, founder and CEO of beremedy, an organization that uses social media to connect those in need with those who can help. beremedy was one of the leading organizations in bringing aid to Haiti after the earthquake using social media to network organizations, the UN and U.S. Marines:

*Additional speakers will be announced upon confirmation.

Bending Rules is made possible by the generous sponsorships from local businesses and organizations that support community building and partnership. Sponsors include Bend Broadband, Bend Research, Bank of the Cascades and St Charles Hospital among others.

“We’re looking to build partnerships that will surface, promote and support great ideas,” said TEDxBend committee member Julie Miller, executive vice president and Oregon regional manager for Bank of the Cascades, one of the major event sponsors. “Our goal is to create an immersive environment where local organizations, thought leaders, key influencers and individuals from vastly different fields can cross-fertilize and draw inspiration from unlikely places. This promotes the type of community we are trying to build in Bend.”

Another major component of the TED movement is an award-winning TEDtalks video site that features more than 900 of the most engaging TED talks and performances from TED and TEDx events all over the world. Additional talks are added to the video site each week with subtitles in various languages.

As Bending Rules approaches, a variety of opportunities and activities are available to locals interested in learning more about global education. TEDxBend is currently hosting TED Talk Video Nights, a series of curated TED video screenings and discussions. TED Nights will be held from 6-7:30pm at a location posted on the website: Topics will include: Creativity Unleashed (March 15) and Challenging Conventions (April 12).

The April 28 event will take place in the Summit High School Auditorium beginning at 12 noon (end time to be confirmed). Tickets are $55 and can be purchased through Tickets are also available for the after party to be held at Century Center following the event.

Info: or join on Facebook.


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