Kevin Taylor plays mountain man Jimmy Sasktoon as he talks about life as a fur trapper in the 19th century during the 2012 TEDxJacksonHole talks at the Center for the Arts. “Passion” is the subject of this year’s TedxJacksonHole. Tickets for the Sunday event have sold out, but people can listen to the talks from the lobby of the Center for the Arts.

Now in their seventh year, the TEDxJacksonHole talks have hit their stride and returned with a fiery topic: passion.

“We know everyone has a story to tell, but those people who have found passion in their lives have great ones,” said Julie Kling, one of the founders of the Jackson Hole variation of the talks.

TED is a nonprofit that started with a conference 26 years ago in California focused on “Ideas Worth Sharing.” Since then it has grown to support world-changing ideas, and the TEDx program was born out of it. The TEDx version of the original is all about self-organized events in smaller communities like Jackson. It’s a TED-like experience right in our own backyard.

To find speakers the organizing committee will start from the inside of the topic out. They try to discover people who may not be recognized by the community or really bright people who have something interesting or personal to say on the topic, Kling said.

The goal is to get a diverse array of speakers. This year’s lineup includes stories of adventure, nature, science, law, relationships and the future. There are also speakers who may bring a new topic or point of view to the community. Bringing people like the brain expert, with his expertise on passion and the brain, really elevate the discourse, Kling said.

“We want people to come and be inspired and leave with a takeaway,” Kling said, “take these ideas out into their world and make a difference.”

Kling’s favorite part about this year’s talks is the topic. In fact, it was her New Year’s resolution to find something she’s passionate about. She hopes that everyone will find something in the program and bring it into their world.

“There’s so much that can fit into any theme, but we’re excited for this one because it’s just juicy,” Kling said.

The talks start at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Center for the Arts. There’s no set schedule or lineup ahead of the event, so get there at the start to make sure you catch all the presentations. But don’t fret: You won’t be sitting through hourlong talks. Each segment will range from about seven to 15 minutes.

“That’s the whole point,” Kling said. “Give the talk of your life in 18 minutes or less.”

TedxJacksonHole isn’t necessarily a kid-friendly event due to some of the speakers’ topics, but it’s up to parents’ discretion.

The Center Theater holds 500 seats, but even a week ago all the tickets for the event had been picked up. There’s a waitlist you can sign up for by calling the Center for the Arts or visiting the event page on the center’s website.

If you can’t get tickets from the waitlist, the talks will be video streamed live in the lobby. And if you can’t make it on Sunday to tune in, the talks will all be uploaded on TEDxJacksonHole.org for free viewing a few weeks later.

“I wish we could offer it to more people,” Kling said. “But it will eventually be available to everyone for free.”

Contact Erika Dahlby at 732-5909 or features2@jhnewsandguide.com.

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