A new Des Moines nonprofit is preparing regional thought leaders to deliver their ideas through the internationally acclaimed program TEDx.

Scheduled for 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 11, TEDxDes Moines “Through a Different Lens” will feature 14 speakers from the Central Iowa region. The event is organized by Think Engage DSM, founded specifically to work with the TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) organization to bring a session to Iowa.

Speakers will have 12 minutes each to present their ideas. Topics include the dynamics of the deaf community and American Sign Language, sustainable agriculture, employment challenges for individuals with cognitive disabilities, and what “Iowa nice” means for the Black community.

Although this is the group’s inaugural event, local speakers have the opportunity to reach a much broader audience: International organizers at TED will review each speaker’s video and choose which topics to highlight through the program’s online library.

“We’re doing this because we believe that our greater community has something to say. We want to create a platform for the innovation and ideas,” said Fred Darbonne, president of Think Engage DSM’s board of directors. “TEDx is an opportunity like no other to really raise the visibility of the ideas and the people in our greater community.”

Meet four of this year’s speakers:
Abena Imhotep, founder/executive director of Sankofa Strategies Consulting: “Iowa Nice
Efrem Jackson, founder/owner of Free to Serve Financial Ministries: “Racial Wealth Gap
Triniti Krauss, Simpson College student and debater: “Human Potential
Seth Watkins, conservationist and farmer: “Legacy/Sustainability

Read more:TEDxDes Moines prepares local voices to join international network of ideas