TEDxOrangeCoast's conference starts Wednesday

An independently organized TED-like program dubbed "Redefining Relevance" takes place Wednesday in Costa Mesa.

The all-day program under the auspices of TEDxOrangeCoast — an independent entity under license from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) — will have four hosts and more than 25 speakers or performers in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

They will "serve as a platform for inspired conversation and innovative ideas," according to a news release.

As for the open-ended theme, it's "going to mean a lot of things for the attendees," said Mojdeh Eskandari, the program's producer and organizer. "For us, it was about a lot of the speakers from different industries and horizons who are talking about how the world has changed and that the solutions of yesterday are not addressing the issues of today."

Speakers include Emile Haddad, co-founder of FivePoint Communities, the Aliso Viejo-based developer whose ongoing projects including housing around the Orange County Great Park; Hans. S. Keirstead, a UC Irvine professor and internationally recognized expert on stem cells; Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old Maryland high school student who won a top science award for his project that provides early detection of pancreatic cancer; Dr. Richard Afable, president and chief executive of Hoag Hospital; Rick Warren, a bestselling author and pastor who founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest; and Rick Reiff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning producer for Costa Mesa-based PBS SoCal and the executive editor of the Orange County Business Journal.

The nonprofit TEDxOrangeCoast was founded in the spirit of TED and its motto, "Ideas worth spreading." It is run by volunteers.

An addition this year is the TEDxOrangeCoast Challenge, "designed to leverage Orange County's exceptional talent and resources," according to the release. The challenge winner, who will receive a cash prize and mentorship, will be announced Wednesday.

"Redefining Relevance" is TEDxOrangeCoast's second event. Its first, "Innovation Without Borders," brought 1,200 attendees in May 2011 to the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Speakers that year included Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief executive of Newport Beach-based PIMCO; Carl St.Clair, musical director of the Pacific Symphony; Dondeena Bradley, a Pepsi executive who works on consumers' nutritional needs; and Donald McKayle, a Tony-nominated dancer and choreographer.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 5:30 p.m. Organizers are expecting more than 1,500 attendees. It will also be streamed live at http://www.tedxorangecoast.com.

As of Monday afternoon, several sections for "Redefining Relevance" were sold out, though some seats still remained in the concert hall's Promenade Circle, Dress Circle, Orchestra and Terrace. Tickets start at $50.

They can be bought at http://www.scfta.org or http://www.tedxorangecoast.com/apply-to-attend. The concert hall is within the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


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