TEDxLSU showcases new ideas for Baton Rouge

TEDxLSU showcases new ideas for Baton Rouge

In his opening remarks at TEDxLSU on Saturday, Joey Watson predicted the first-of-its kind event would serve as "the secret sauce" in the Capital Region's continued evolution.

"This will change us in the months to come," says Watson, an LSU instructor, curator of the event and one of 225's People to Watch in 2013.

Hundreds gathered at the Reilly Theatre on the LSU campus to hear 25 guest speakers, who were given 18 minutes to give the "talk of their life" focused on the power of ideas.

Among the speakers were cycling enthusiast and LSU photo-archivist Mark Martin, filmmaker Zack Godshall, arts advocate/attorney Jacques Rodrigue, and many others. They touched on a wide range of topics, from community activism and what architecture says about our area to vulnerability in filmmaking and interactivity in music. While attendees filled the Reilly Theatre, Watson says nearly 300 people were also watching presentations via a simulcast at the campus's Shaver Theatre.

Martin, who's originally from Florida, could be recognized Saturday as the older gentleman with big, white sideburns and tattoos running up and down his legs. He's lived in Baton Rouge for the past 13 years, and he used his presentation time to talk about the lack of infrastructure for cyclists in the Capital Region.

"What got me going was that as I was riding, I realized there was little or no infrastructure," Martin says. "I got all bent about the fact that there was no infrastructure, and somebody needed to do something. I either needed to do something or sit down and shut up. I'm not inclined to sit down and shut up."

Martin established the local bicycle advocacy group that recently rebranded itself as Bike Baton Rouge. For him, the TED talks were important because he thinks the area is at a "tipping point." "People are beginning to realize that business as usual isn't working," he says.

Godshall spoke on vulnerability and collaboration in filmmaking. Some of his films include Lord Byron, as well as the upcoming shorts A Man Without Words and Water Like Stone. You can see his entire filmography and keep up with his work at here.

"You get these different perspectives and stories in a short amount of time," says Godshall of the inaugural TEDxLSU event. "It's not about going deep into someone's work or ideas. It's giving you a glimpse of different points of view."

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