Maine’s TED-inspired organization to present ‘Villages’ at Bates Oct. 20

Rachel Boggia, assistant professor of dance at Bates, is one of the presenters at the Oct. 20 TEDxDirigo event “Villages.” Photograph by Michael Bradley/Bates College.

In California in 1984, a conference took place to encourage a simple but powerful activity: the sharing of ideas among the worlds of technology, entertainment and design.

Today, those three realms have lent their initials to a cultural movement that everyone knows as TED. The organizers of that first conference have developed their simple-yet-powerful theme — the dissemination of good ideas — into widespread offerings that include the popular “TED Talk” Web videos, conferences and other gatherings, and performances.

And now “TED-itude” is coming to Bates. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, the Olin Arts Center hosts the daylong event Villages, produced by Maine’s independent organizer of TED-style presentations, TEDxDirigo. Villages features dynamic figures from spheres including environmentalism, technology, business and the arts (represented by Bates dance professor Rachel Boggia, among others).

Through a series of concise and captivating presentations, the program will explore the evolving concept of villages from myriad perspectives and fields. To attend this daylong event, please request an invitation at For more information, please call 207-786-6400.

More about Villages

Stephen Voltz and Franz Grobe are EepyBird.

The origins of the modern world can be traced back to the villages of the ancient. Villages provided people with a chance to conduct a grand experiment: how to live together in a shared place.

Over time our villages have expanded to the point where the struggle has become how to find a place in both the local and global simultaneously.

What are today’s villages and what role do they play in shaping our society? What have we learned after thousands of years living together, and what questions remain unresolved?

The 15 “Villages” presenters include:

  • Anjali Appadurai, a senior at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor with an active interest in international environmental politics;
  • Boggia, a dancer, choreographer and videographer whose documentaries, videodances and mediated performances have been seen in Europe and around the United States;
  • EepyBird, the high-tech vaudevilleans whose Coke and Mentos videos have had tens of millions of viewers;
  • Don Gooding, director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development;
  • Stacy Mitchell, author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses;
  • Susan MacKay, clean-technology entrepreneur;
  • and Phuc Tran, a teacher of classical languages and an internationally acclaimed tattoo artist.

See a complete listing of presenter bios.

TEDxDirigo was founded to celebrate innovation and creativity in Maine, scouting out and presenting ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change makers. Through the popular and effective “TED Talk” format, the organization has inspired hundreds of live audience members and hundreds of thousands online globally. It presented conferences in 2010 and 2011. Learn more about TEDxDirigo.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at, where new TEDTalks are posted daily. TED conference speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Other TED initiatives include:

  • the annual TEDGlobal gathering in Oxford, U.K.
  • the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide;
  • and the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action.

Learn more about TED.

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