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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2014 TEDGlobal Conference began in Rio de Janeiro at the Beach Theater in Copacabana on Monday, October 6th and will continue through Friday, October 10th. With the theme “South!” this is the first time that any South American city has hosted the international conference.

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Covered in more than one thousand white and red umbrellas, TED’s temporary structure, known as the Beach Theater, is located on Copacabana Beach, photo by Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil.

The Beach Theater is a temporary structure, erected on the sands of Copacabana beach for the private conference. Adding new colors to the famous shoreline, more than one thousand red and white beach umbrellas cover the structure.

TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design), is a non-profit organization known for eighteen minute cross-disciplinary talks given by speakers including scientists, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, activists, musicians, writers and leaders from around the world.

The talks first became an annual event in 1990 in Silicon Valley, California, United States. The organization then launched the TEDGlobal conferences in 2005. Opening day of the “South!” conference in Rio, began with technology entrepreneur, Dave Troy discussing the identification of micro-communities and overlapping interests through social media.

Peruvian geoscientist Andrés Ruzo followed with an impassioned talk about a hydrothermal system in the Amazon River and how it affects the communities and wildlife that depend on the river. Activist Pia Mancini then spoke about the use of apps and modern platforms for civic engagement.

Rio-based journalist, Glenn Greenwald followed, speaking about modern surveillance, privacy and secrecy. Greenwald rose to fame in 2013, the reporter who broke the Edward Snowden leaks and their revelations about the NSA.

During the final session on opening day, economist Dilip Ratha addressed the dangers of global high financial transaction fees. Additional speakers of the sixty-six total scheduled for the conference include; singer-songwriter Danay Suárez, Chief of the Yawanawá, Tashka Yawanawá, Buugeng juggler Gustavo Ollitta, Filmmaker José Padilha; Anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch; Batalha do Passinho dancers; Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis; musician Naná Vasconcelo; Artist Vik Muniz; Astronomer Wendy Freedman; and Favela painters Haas&Hahn.

For a complete list of speakers and to learn more about TEDGlobal 2014: South!, see the TEDGlobal2014 website here. While registration for the event is now closed, those interested can still register here, to view TEDGlobal 2014 as a livestream.

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