In addition to the 150 people attending in person, TEDxCorbin officials said the online audience Saturday reached approximately 3,000, exceeding their expectations for the inaugural event.
“I couldn’t imagine it going any better,” said Krystal Kinser, lead organizer and Executive Producer of the event.
“Our speakers knocked it out of the park,” she said.
Among the speakers was Sandi Kurd, Coordinator of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation’s Promise Zone.
The Promise Zone serves eight area counties with the goal to aid residents through job creation, improving career and education opportunity, reducing crime and increasing broadband internet access.
“It goes back to the old analogy that a rising tide raises all ships,” Curd said. “If the quality of life raises for all of us in the area, then the whole area benefits.”
“My TEDx experience was exhilarating. I am still walking on air,” Curd said Monday. “It was so much fun and so much energy being in that room at Second and Main, being in that room at Second and Main, filled with all of these people that are excited to listen to you. It was just a huge adrenaline rush. I felt like we made Appalachia proud.”
Kinser said in an age where the people of Appalachia are repeatedly told about their failings, it was great to give such a large group the opportunity to share their success stories with the world.
“All we did was set a stage and allow people to take it,” Kinser said. “How much power comes from that is absolutely incredible for not just me but for the whole team.”
“I think we were able to show a more diverse Appalachia,” she said.
“We face a lot of challenges, but there is also a ton of opportunity.”
Kinser said in the coming weeks, the videos will be uploaded in the near future.
Kinser said though there are no concrete plans, the goal is to hold another TEDxCorbin in 2020.
“It will continue to live on. How and when, we don’t quite know yet,” she said.
“I feel like we have just barely started to scratch the surface of stories and ideas in our area,” she said.
Kinser said she has heard from people in other parts of Appalachia, including Hazard, Whitesburg and Pikeville, asking how they can host their own TEDx events.
“I would like to see that and play some part in it if possible,” Kinser said. “Corbin isn’t the only amazing town with a lot to offer.”
Kinser said the TED staff told her they are ready and willing to help facilitate more TEDx events focusing on rural America, and that she would be happy to help other local organizers.
“I think there is a big opportunity for us to share with other communities across the nation and across the world,” Kinser said.