Though he is now retired from his career as a radio and television journalist, TEDxLincoln organizer Randy Bretz still likes to get the scoop on what’s going on in the world. He achieves this now through newspapers, magazines … and TEDx. Since the program’s start in 2009, there have been over 16,000 TEDx events in 170 countries, and Bretz wants to get to know them all. By following TEDx events and connecting with their organizers, he says he stays connected with the world outside his home in Lincoln, Nebraska and gets to know local ideas changing places around the world, whether that’s Bogota or Beirut.
“Having lived all of my life, except for a short stint in the Army based in Panama, in the middle of the United States, I haven’t traveled internationally much and haven’t had the opportunity to get to know many people from other parts of the world,” Bretz says. “When I attended TEDActive in 2012 with the desire of being able to grow TEDxLincoln, I couldn’t believe [how many] people from other countries were at the TEDx workshop and gatherings. That week I met people from China, the Middle East, Europe, South America and right here in the United States … Since then, friendships have grown and I have continued to meet new TEDx curators. All of this has impressed upon me the like-mindedness we have as members of the TEDx community. It’s given me hope. It’s been a great encouragement.”
Bretz has channeled this interest into several activities: by bolstering activity on the TEDxHub — an internal social network and knowledge sharing platform for TEDx organizers and team members — and by writing a series of blog posts profiling individual TEDx organizers called “Behind the X.” (You can read his first “Behind the X” — on TEDxBaltimore’s Sarge Salman on Medium here.) Bretz utilizes his journalism background and TEDx organizer expertise to tell these stories, which he is posting on the TEDxHub and Medium in installments.
“As I got more involved in doing TEDx events, it seemed to me that one of the untold stories [of TED and TEDx] was the incredible community of folks who put TEDx events together,” Bretz says. “There’s a connection we have. There’s a creative juice we share. There’s an incredible dedication to making this a better world for us all. So, I’ve set about telling those stories of what’s ‘Behind the X.’”
But Bretz isn’t stopping there. Next week he’s hosting a community video hangout on the TEDxHub, gathering organizers from around the world to chat, or, as he says, “sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and talk about life, ask a question, share an idea.”
If you are a TEDx organizer or TEDx team member, you can join Randy for his hangout called, “How I got hooked on the Hub” on March 17 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time in the TEDxHub.