TEDxSanAntonio attendees during a previous event. Courtesy photo.
TEDxSanAntonio attendees during a previous event. Courtesy photo.

The swank interior of the upscale, Tuscan-inspired Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa’s Palio Hall will be the setting this Friday evening of San Antonio’s local version of TEDWomen 2015 put on by TEDxSanAntonio. Three speakers will address topics of particular interest to Millennials: gender equality in the workplace, cultural norms of raising boys, and discovering one’s own brand of feminism.

The event will start at 5 p.m. with a happy hour, and run until 9 p.m. Friday’s happening is scheduled to coincide with TEDWomen 2015’s three-day conference, which is taking place this Wednesday through Friday in Monterey, Calif. The TEDWomen San Antonio event will livestream three speakers from the national conference as well. Which of the more than 40 speakers local organizers will feature remains to be announced. Click here to see the full list of TEDWomen speakers.

Attendees at a previous TEDxSanAntonio event. Courtesy photo
Attendees at a previous TEDxSanAntonio event. Courtesy photo.

For those not familiar with the worldwide nature of the TED brand, the initials stand for “technology, entertainment and design.” The prototype four-day TED conferences, of which San Antonio holds an abbreviated version every year, were started 26 years ago in California, to give an 18-minute platform for visionary thinkers and doers to communicate their passion to a live audience. TED talks are then made available for free at TED’s website and on YouTube.

Previous TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck, Isabel Allende, and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in addition to thousands of other subject matter experts from all walks of life.

Local TEDx salons, the “x” stands for independently organized TED events, are held periodically on a variety of topics, including youth. And youth aged 15 to 18 are “more than welcome” at Friday’s event, according to organizer Megan Ortiz.

“San Antonio is experiencing some great forward momentum, and the TEDxSanAntonio program has been a part of that,” said Kim McDonald, who will be speaking at Friday’s event.

TEDxSanAntonio is a “small group of organizers licensed by TED to hold San Antonio’s full-fledged TEDx event. Our goal is to open the minds, hearts and souls of the Alamo City to the most intriguing science, art, literary, technological, social justice and environmental ideas — inspiring participants from all parts of the city to initiate big changes and empowering them to continue the conversations beyond the walls of the event,” according to their website. “TEDWomen focuses on the issues women face every day.”

Desireé S. Luckey
Desireé S. Luckey

In addition to the livestream, Friday’s event will feature the following speakers:

Desireé S. Luckey, Community Organizer: Millennials and the Importance of Intersectional Feminism;

Kim Murray McDonald, Community Engagement Consultant: What’s Next for Gender Equality?

Tara A. Schwegler, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist: Woman Up: Gender Equality and the Culture of Work

Last year’s TEDx San Antonio event was held in October at Rackspace. The full line-up of speakers’ videos are available here.

Kim Murray McDonald
Kim Murray McDonald

While the topics may sound Millennial-oriented, they are not exclusively for young adults. Women will not be the only likely attendees, as men turn out to TEDWomen talks as well.

“‘Millennial’ is a very hot topic right now, almost a buzzword,” Ortiz said. “But the biggest focus right now for us is to make sure that these conversations are relatable to every person in the room, and that they can take something away, regardless of what decade they were born in, or how they’re approaching these conversations. We just want these conversations to start happening, and to make sure that people are talking about these issues that are important to women today.”

Tara A. Schwegler
Tara A. Schwegler

TEDxSanAntonio encourages those interested in attending to purchase their tickets before they are sold out. General Admission tickets are $35.00 each and tickets for educators, students, military and anyone 15-18 years of age are $18.00 each. Tickets can be purchased by visiting tedxsanantonio.com.

*Featured/top image: TEDxSanAntonio attendees during a previous event. Courtesy photo.

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Lily Casura

Lily Casura, MSW, is the Director of Equity and Impact at YWCA San Antonio. An independent researcher as well as a current graduate student in applied demography at UTSA, she co-authored the "Status of...