I was so excited a few weeks ago when I learned that I would be attending the first TEDx Columbia conference on January 16. I’m a fan of TED Conference online videos. I spent the day watching TEDx Poynter in October and wished I would have been sitting in St. Petersburg that day.

Meeting and hearing presentations from Columbia’s top thinkers/doers is going to be inspiring.

I am familiar with two of the speakers – Jay Bender from when I was a reporter at The State newspaper and Dr. Stuart Hamilton from working with him through the SC Hospital Association.

The other speakers include a woman whose non-profit organization provides interim and emergency counseling services to ensure the psychological health and well-being of combat veterans and their families, executive director of the state’s leading GLBT advocacy organization, and co-founder of an urban farm focused on sustainable farming methods and supporting the local community.

I’m looking forward to their 17 minutes where they are sure to inform and inspire.