Randy Dobbs’ 31-year-old daughter found out after giving birth that she was in stage four of pancreatic cancer. Instead of succumbing to the idea that her chances of surviving the disease were small, Dobbs put his former experience in the business world to good use, and tried to formulate a team of people who would help her survive.
That was the theme of Dobbs’ talk, one of the last ones that closed out TEDx Charleston, now in its third year. For those wanting to attend this year’s event, with the theme “Embrace Chaos,” getting holds of tickets was quite the competition: the 500 tickets available for the gathering, held at the Charleston Music Hall, were gone in under 12 hours, said spokeswoman Kira Perdue.
Speakers covered a wide range of topics — from building durable structures, to teaching computer science, to post-traumatic stress disorder.
TedX also features performers, including Wona Womalan, a dancing and drumming group, and the Wonderson Duo, who performed an aerial routine where they moved in the air only using each other and a couple of lengthy strips of fabric that hung down from above.
David Powers, a 40-year-old futurist, traveled from Myrtle Beach for the day-long event, bringing along his wife and four kids who busied themselves while he sat in on the sessions.
“I knew I would have to buy tickets quick,” he said.
Both Powers and Charleston resident Jennie Olbrych, said they enjoyed a talk by Jenny Bevan, a designer who spoke on the importance of building quality structures. Bevan works at Bevan and Liberatos.
“That really resonated,” said Olbrych, an Episcopalian priest, adding, “I love the link between disposable buildings and disposable communities and I think shes absolutely right on.”
Olbrych has attended TEDx Charleston all three years.
“It seems to be getting more focused and better,” she said. “Each of them has been uniquely wonderful.”