More than 20 community members will present 15-minute talks on a variety of topics Friday afternoon for Dickinson's first Teddy Talks event at Dickinson State University.
Teddy Talks is a derivative of TED Talks which occur across the nation on an entire spectrum of subjects from experts. The Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with DSU's Theodore Roosevelt scholars to put on the event, hence the name "Teddy Talks," said city attorney Haylee Cripe, who serves as the chamber's board president and has spearheaded the event. She also serves as an adjunct professor at DSU, where she teaches a leadership class. Her students will help out with the program.
"I think anytime we have different community members sharing their experiences is just a great opportunity for us to see the wealth of knowledge and experience that's in our community," Cripe said. "I think some of us that grew up here or have lived here for a long time take for granted how much is really going on here. ... It's going to be really cool, I think, for everyone in the community to see how much we have here, what assets we have in our people."
Her students began the process by brainstorming ideas for topics to be presented. Cripe then worked to find community members who could speak about those subjects. The chamber also helped find people to speak at the event, which will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at DSU's student center in the ballrooms.
"An event like this in the community is a vehicle to help get discussion started, help people discover new things," said Cheryl Viola, the chamber's executive director. "... I think it's going to open up a lot of talking points to people within the community and help them network and find new passions and new connections with other people which will just help unify."
The talks will focus on a variety of different subjects from business to dog training and vampires to situational awareness.
Jeremy Witte, the network manager at Consolidated, will speak about the past, present and future of broadband as well as its benefits for the economy and people's lives. Many people may not know much about the history of the internet or how fast it is growing, he said.
"Anytime we can help educate the public on, not just specifically the services Consolidated offers, but the technology and what those technologies (do) for us is fabulous," Witte said. "... I took a quick look at the presentation list and some of the topics, and it looks like a nice, wide range of topics and interest levels, so hopefully there is something there for everyone."
Dickinson police Sgt. Kylan Klauzer will discuss situational awareness emphasizing mindset, preparedness and unintentional blindness, he said. He hopes to give people advice on ways to be safer based on his experiences through his work.
"To me personally, if they walk away, they go home and you make one adjustment or one tweak to their daily routine, and how they're going about business in order to make themselves more safe, whether that's in the home or at their workplace, that's going to be the thing I look forward to most when I talk in this capacity," Klauzer said.
He also noted that the shorter talks sometimes prove to be more beneficial to viewers than hours of presentations.
"It would be nice to see the thing catch hold, have some good attendance and some good feedback so the group can build on it next year and make it even better because these sorts of things, I think, are really useful for our community, and they kind of give us a nice image to be able to sell the city of Dickinson," Klauzer said.
The talks will begin at 20-minute increments, so community members may drop by and stay for one talk or all afternoon, Cripe said.