By Sam Robinson
The Indianapolis-based Sparks organization hosted an TED talk-style event at the Eleven Fifty Academy in Carmel on June 17.
Scott Jones, the founder of Cha Cha and Gracenote, spoke at the event via Skype from Hawaii. Three other speakers gave talks on self-improvement.
The Sparks motto is “bright ideas shared.” Sparks founder Chris Reed said that he was inspired by TED talks, which invite experts in technology, entertainment and design to talk to audiences about their work.
“There was no TED event here at that time where we could get together as a community,” Reed said. “I wanted to make a tribe of learners.”
Reed launched the organization in June of 2012. Reed said that the organization has since grown in popularity.
“What you see here is not what we launched in June 2012,” Reed said. “It’s better.”
Reed said he wants bright ideas from Sparks to inspire innovation. The talks are timed to pack the most amount of spark in the least amount of time. The event had allotted time for attendees to network and discuss the talks.
Scott Jones talked about his career, and the role immersion played in his success. Jones, an early pioneer of voicemail, said that immersion with his work and isolation from the outside world is one of the reasons he’s been so successful in innovating technology.
“We were taking on the biggest company in the world at the time, AT&T,” Jones said. “We said we could deliver the largest voicemail system in 3 months. Everyone else said 3 years. The immersion worked.”
The other speakers included Dr. Rob Bell, a sports psychologist, local entrepreneur Nick Carter, and standup comedian Scott Long.
Sparks events usually take place at Moon Dog Tavern in Indianapolis. To attend a talk, register online a sparkstalk.com.