Lafayette will host its own TED talk event this fall, and anyone can apply to be a speaker

TEDxVermilionStreet is set for Sept. 12 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette.

TEDx is an independently organized version of the well-known TED Talks events that explore a wide range of issues in a format aimed at sparking conversation.

The TEDx events are organized by people working with the TED organization and follow the same general guidelines and format.

“I’ve always enjoyed listening to TED Talks. They’re always very inspiring,” said Taylor Sloey, a doctorate student of biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who is organizing the event.

“I had seen that some of my friends back at home in Nebraska were giving TEDx talks and TEDx events in their respective cities, and I just thought, ‘You know, that’s something I’d really like to do.’ ”

The theme for the event is “Je ne sais quoi,” a French phrase that refers to an elusive quality that is difficult to describe. Speakers are invited to explore the intangible qualities that cultivate, engage and enrich the community.

“Everyone is welcome to apply, any age, any background any pool of expertise — whatever,” Sloey said. “As long as you have a good idea worth sharing, you’re welcome to apply.

The organizing team is accepting speaker applications until June 26.

TED is a nonprofit that began in 1984 in Monterey, California, as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, according to the organization’s website. The conference was the beginning of the acronym TED as well as the organization of the same name. Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of MIT’s Media Lab, spoke at that first conference and predicted that devices with touchscreens would come into widespread use, more than 20 years before Apple’s iPhone came onto the scene.

Now TED Talks cover almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages, according to the website. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events — like the one in Lafayette — help share ideas in communities around the world, the website says.

Tickets won’t be available for purchase for TEDxVermilionStreet until after the speakers have been chosen, which will be sometime in late July.

Only 100 tickets will be available at $20 each, but overflow seating will be available at the Acadiana Center for the Arts to watch a live video stream of the event, which also will be available online.

“I thought the Lafayette community would really grab on to this idea and really embrace the idea of TED and TEDx,” Sloey said. “It’s something our community needs and would be receptive to.”

To apply as a speaker, or for information about the event, visit www.tedx vermilionstreet.org.