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TEDxParkCity to Host Virtual Climate Symposium


A global TED event on climate change and what needs to be done over the next decade to slow its effects on the planet will be hosted by TEDxParkCity starting this weekend. Some heavy hitters are scheduled to speak over the three-day event.


If there is an upside to event after event going virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to join in on things happening thousands of miles away from the comfort of your own home would have to be it.


Starting on Saturday, October 10th, TEDxParkCity will be hosting a virtual “Countdown” symposium on climate change called “10.10.2020”. 


TEDx organizer Teri Orr told KPCW the event was originally scheduled to be in person, thousands of miles away, but the pandemic presented a golden opportunity to bring the event to local listeners.


“Well this is very different,” said Orr. “We were supposed to be in Norway for this event. It’s called 10.10.2020 with a look at where we are now and, of course, the next critical decade and what we need to do on the planet in terms of shifting the energy around climate change.”


Climate change has been at the front of many minds over the past several years as the movement for serious action on the issue has gained traction with an increasing number of public figures around the world, as well as here in Utah.


This week, over 130 state leaders from across the political spectrum signed on to the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact. The compact encourages leaders at both the state and local level to implement seven recommendations to tackle the effects of climate change and fight for better air quality over the next several decades. 


These issues are close to many Utahns' hearts and signatories include Park City Mayor Andy Beerman, Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter, Utah Congressmen John Curtis, a Republican, and Ben McAdams, a Democrat.  


TED events are no stranger to Park City. The community has hosted TED-sponsored events since 2009 and Orr says Park City was one of the first independent organizers to take TED’s famous talks local.


“We were one of the first hundred licenses that TED granted when they decided to allow organizers to come up with their own events and now there are close to 4,000 globa TEDx licenses,” Orr explained. “So, yeah, we feel pretty good about having gone the distance.”


Orr says the topics TEDxParkCity focuses on are wide-ranging and are suggested by the New York-based TED organization. The “x” in Tedx designates an event that is independently organized.


“These come through the TED organization,” she said. “The first one we did was TEDxChange with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was a health related event that came out of Berlin. There’s been TEDxWomen, TEDxYouth, TEDxGlobal, we were in Qatar and an event was broadcast back to the States that way, just a variety of great TED events.”


TEDxParkCity’s Countdown will feature over 50 speakers from all over the world, including Great Britain’s Prince William, former Vice President Al Gore, and Park City’s own John Cumming, CEO of POWDR Corporation and operator of Snowbird, Woodward Park City, and several other resort destinations across North America.


The event is open for registration now and is limited to the first 250 participants. The event will be held over Zoom and costs $25 per household. There is no limit to how many people can watch per screen. Events will take place on October 10th, 12th, and 14th and will begin at 6:00pm MST. Each evening’s symposiums will last approximately 60-90 minutes.


For more information on TEDxParkCity, or to buy tickets to Countdown, click here.


KPCW news reports on climate change issues are brought to you by the Park City Climate Fund at the Park City Community Foundation, an initiative that engages Park City in implementing local, high-impact climate solutions that have potential to be effective in similar communities.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.