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Bringing TEDx to Buffalo

Professional event planner Susan Lynn Cope is organizing a campaign to bring TEDx to Buffalo. TEDx is a program that helps communities to mount their own events inspired by TED, a nonprofit whose aim is to promote “ideas worth spreading” through conversations on any number of issues. (If you want to get a taste of the sort of thing TED does, visit the TEDTalks site or the TED annual conference site.)

Here’s what Cope says is driving her to organize a TEDx event here:

Andy Warhol once said “They say that time changes things, but you have to actually change them yourself.”  Buffalo, NY was a city born from the railways, trading and industrial revolution.  During the Queen City’s golden age, historic icons such as Mark Twain, Grover Cleveland and Fredrick Law Olmsted all made their mark and have left historic legacies for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

With the passing of time and the relocation of major industries overseas, Buffalo has seen a rapid decline in population. This city now has one of the highest percentages of vacant houses among major US cities.   I was recently moved by a documentary, “Requiem for Detroit,” by director Julien Temple.  Temple tracks Detroit’s past, present and future.  His description of the urban decay within Detroit is “a slow-motion Katrina that has had many more victims.”

The parallels between Detroit and Buffalo were unnerving and shocking to me.  Both cities, once thriving metropolises, are now hemorrhaging citizens while at the same time gaining artists and social pioneers that are repurposing the abandoned urban spaces and creatively uniting together.

Here’s what Buffalo Geek has to say about it:

Buffalo is a petri dish in which we are germinating ideas which respond to local socioeconomic problems.  These innovative responses to poverty, hunger, inequality, massive economic disinvestment and deindustrialization will become our major contribution to the national knowledge economy.

Within the region, we find hundreds of people, organizations and companies designing those very responses and struggling to find a platform from which to broadcast about them.  TEDx Buffalo can be that event and serves as a milestone on our long, dark journey towards enlightenment in this city and region

Cope is looking for feedback and support on her idea. Help her out.



  • The license for the TEDxBuffalo Event has been approved!