TED-like talks at Kripalu to focus on health, wellness and economics



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STOCKBRIDGE >> A day-long series of TED-style talks centered primarily on health, wellness and economics will be held Thursday at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.

The speakers' program, which includes several well-known Berkshire-area professionals, was devised by TEDxBerkshires, a Lenox-based independent organization that plans events to share a TED-like experience featuring live and video speakers offering in-depth discussions and connections.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an international nonprofit foundation that organizes conferences and distributes videos online under the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading." TEDx events are set up by local organizers who obtain a free license from TED, agreeing to follow certain principles.

The lineup of presenters on Thursday includes Dr. Jennifer Michaels, medical director of the Pittsfield-based Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Her topic is "Training Your Brain to Optimize Happiness."

Margaret Keller, executive director of the nonprofit CATA (Community Access to the Arts) will present a talk on "How to Look at Disability." CATA's mission is to nurture and support the creativity of about 600 people with disabilities across Berkshire County.

Jen Salinetti, a leader in the county's local food movement, will discuss the origins of her family's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetable farm, Woven Roots, in Tyringham.

Matthew Dicks, whose topic is "Homework for Life," is an author and educator as well as co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England. He has taught storytelling and public speaking at Yale, the University of Connecticut Law School, Purdue University and Kripalu.

The other speakers are:

• Coby Kozlowski, a yoga leader whose topic will be "One-Degree Revolution: Small Shifts, Big Changes."

• Dan Neilson, a Monterey-based economist and visiting assistant economics professor at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington. He specializes in links between monetary policy and the financial system, with a focus on China's financial markets, the global monetary system, and the evolution of the Federal Reserve. He will discuss "The Global Economy, Close at Hand."

• Danielle Valenti, a Berkshire native who now lives in Troy, N.Y., and is a vice president at Merit, an Albany tech company. She will offer a talk on "Facing Death Full of Life." She is involved with the advocacy group Huntington's Disease Society of America, having been diagnosed with the incurable neurodegenerative genetic disorder.

• Dr. Ruth Wertheimer, a psychosexual therapist who gained fame with her New York City radio show, "Sexually Speaking," that began airing in 1980. She will discuss "On Love, Life and Joie de Vivre." She has marketed her approach through television, books, newspapers, games, home video, computer software and her own website, www.drruth.com.

The Thursday speaker presentations and TED Talk videos will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a 90-minute break at 11:30 a.m. for lunch (included with admission) and a choice of four optional Kripalu yoga and meditation classes, also included. An additional, yoga class is available at no charge after the conference ends.

Participants are asked to arrive by 9:30 to allow time for parking and check-in.

Additional information and online ticket purchases are available at TEDxBerkshires.com. Pre-registration tickets are $45; day-of-event purchase is $50.

The co-founders and curators of TEDxBerkshires are Ethan Berg, a full-time value investment manager, and Dr. Mark Liponis, chief medical officer at Canyon Ranch Lenox.

Contact Clarence Fanto at 413-637-2551.

If you go ...

What: TEDxBerkshires live and video speaker presentation

When: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday; arrive by 9:30 a.m.

Where: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Route 183, Stockbridge

Speakers: Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Margaret Keller, Jen Salinetti, Dan Neilson, Danielle Valenti, Dr. Ruth Wertheimer, others

Cost: $45 in advance; $50 at the door (includes lunch, choice of five optional Kripalu classes)

Info/registration: www.TEDxBerkshires.com


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