Events — 04 April 2013
Belmont’s Bennett to Speak at TEDxNashville

By Jason Luntz

Belmont Associate Professor Dr. Sybril Bennett has been scheduled to speak at the upcoming TEDxNashville event tiled “Next” at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The event will assemble hundreds of Nashville’s brightest minds for a day of discussion, video, and live speakers. The talks from TED events (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) have expanded from those three areas to include talks on business, science, health and global issues.

Dr. Bennett’s talk is based on research conducted for her forthcoming book, Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad (UGRR). In it, she argues the UGRR is among the most effective, innovative and disruptive networks in U.S. history. The book compares the Internet to the UGRR to help present historical information in real-time.

The talk will show how the forming of flash mobs to escort escaped Africans to safety and the discussions of freedom, access, boundaries and privacy show how the past continues to be a part of the future.

“As we attempt to predict the future more our past must be understood,” explained Dr. Bennett.

Specifically, her presentation will focus on her Seven Elements of Innovation: Problem, Principle, Purpose, Perspective, Pioneering, Passion and Play. All are found in innovation and were clearly apparent on the UGRR and on the Internet as well.

TEDxNashville works as the place to discuss such a topic. “TED is all about ideas worth sharing,” Dr. Bennett said. “It is truly an honor and an opportunity to promote the work of the selfless people who risked and sacrificed their lives on the Underground Railroad.”

Dr. Sybril Bennett, is a Vanderbilt educated, Harvard trained, two-time Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist. At Belmont University she helped to establish the New Century Journalism Program in 2003. With more than 20 years of experience in television news, she’s worked behind the scenes at ABC in Milwaukee and at CBS in Chicago. She has been commissioned by the American Association of Colleges and Universities to participate in the Bridge to Theory and Practice monograph project. Her focus is civic engagement and social media.

Her book (in press), “Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad” examines the UGRR and the Internet as among America’s most effective, innovative and disruptive networks. The book will be available on and Barnes & Noble later this spring.

With degrees from Marquette, Loyola University of Chicago and Vanderbilt, Dr. Bennett is a facilitator, mentor and speaker spreading the word about and through social media.

Tickets to attend TEDxNashville’s event “Next” are available at The event is scheduled for April 6th, 2013 to begin at 10:00 a.m.


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