Once a Great Notion: TEDxSMU Wants to Share Your Thoughts, Give Away Tickets

One day, the light bulb comes on above your head. You have a great idea for ... something, anything. Cargo pants, maybe. Or sliced bread. The world needs your innovation, but how do you let the planet know about it?

A dozen contestants at the TEDxSMU speaker auditions taking place 7-9 p.m Tuesday, October 11, at the Kessler Theater will get their shot at wowing the world, provided first they can impress an audience and members of a judging panel.

TEDxSMU is a licensed offshoot of a national nonprofit -- the name comes from Technology, Entertainment, Design -- whose goal is to gather creative thinkers and speakers and identify and share ideas worth spreading.

The 12 speakers at TEDxSMU's audition will vie in an American Idol-like competition, speaking briefly on topics ranging from unlocking the mind's creativity, to housing solutions for the displaced, to preventing hazing. The winner of the competition will get a slot to speak at the TEDxSMU conference on Saturday, December 3 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre.

The topic of this year's conference is disruption -- technologies, inventions, discoveries and events. Among the 20 scheduled speakers in December are Elise Ballard, author of Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage, and Transform, and Peter Thum, founder of Ethos Water and Fonderie47, a project that collects and destroys AK-47 assault rifles in Africa and converts some of the gun parts to jewelry.

For $10, you can attend the Kessler showcase and help decide which ideas deserve the world -- or at least the city's -- attention.

Or, you could go for free. In the comments below, toss out your best TED-style presentation topic and title -- titles are very important -- by 5 p.m. Friday. A panel of not-so-distinguished judges here at Mixmaster HQ will select a favorite, though "likes" will be taken into consideration. The winner will receive a pair of tickets to Tuesday's showcase.

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