TEDx Jamaica Plain Will Focus on ‘Joy and Purpose’

The first event is October 3.

Photo by Charlotte Fixler.

Photo by Charlotte Fixler

Move over TEDxBoston, Beacon Street, Cambridge, and Somerville, there’s a new TEDx in town. TEDx Jamaica Plain will host its inaugural event Saturday, October 3, set to present its share of “ideas worth spreading.”

TEDx conferences are different than TED Talks—they’re independently organized versions of regular TED events, still focusing on Technology, Entertainment, and Design. TEDxJP’s theme, Joy and Purpose, (get it? JP?) will center around purposefully creating joy within the Jamaica Plain community.

“Part of the beauty of what TED can do is really bring together a diverse flock of individuals,” says lead organizer Charlotte Fixler. “I wanted to pick [a theme] that would allow us to draw from the most exciting ideas from the community.”

Fixler attended her first TED event five years ago, and decided to use her knowledge from working as a teacher and then in the toy industry to help design game experiences for TEDActive events. After recently moving to Jamaica Plain, she saw an opportunity to bring TED to her new neighborhood.

“[JP’s] definitely got its own heartbeat,” she says. “There’s just this very socially conscious, kind of artistically inclined, very creative culture that’s super open to new ideas and discourse. Moving here, it became clear pretty early on that this is a community that would very much welcome this kind of an event.”

The event’s emcee is Charlie Rose, a veteran Boston youth worker, organizer, and entrepreneur. He was a founding board member of City Year, an organization that helps equip young people to be leaders in their communities, as well as a founding member of various other community service organizations in the city and the Bella Luna Restaurant & Milky Way Lounge.

With a kickoff from the J.P. Honk band, Rose will introduce a speaker lineup spanning all forms of joy stemming from Jamaica Plain, from international ballet star Tony Williams and scientist/conceptual artist Remi Picó to clinical hypnotherapist Avinoam Lerner and the city’s former Director of Food Initiatives Edith Murnane.

About 400 people will be able to pack into the First Church Jamaica Plain, a community meeting place near JP’s main strip, Centre Street.

“It’s where folks are used to meeting, not in a religious sense, but in a communal sense,” Fixler says.

After the event, guests are invited to the TEDxJP after party at the Loring-Greenough House, where there will be fare from local restaurants, a sundae bar by J.P. Licks, and gaming experiences by Hasbro, including giant Jenga and giant Nerf gun practice.

Fixler says TEDx events like TEDxJP are in some senses hyperlocal, but are ultimately more powerful than that.

“The universality of the messages that are being shared and the potential of these kinds of messages…take the global stage.”

$25, Saturday, October 3, 1 p.m., First Church Jamaica Plain, 6 Eliot St., tedxjamaicaplain.com.