TEDxSVSU scheduled for Sept. 30


TEDxSVSU is coming to SVSU on Friday, Sept. 30, and will be held in the Banquet Rooms on the second floor of Curtiss Hall.

The doors open at 5 p.m., and the event will feature exhibits on virtual reality, wireless security, and computing that will provide an interactive learning experience before the talks begin.

TEDx stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the international non-profit lecture series grew out of a 1984 presentation of the compact disc, the e-book and stellar 3-D graphics (for 1984) from Lucasfilm.

Richard Saul Wurman saw that the three industries the objects represented summarized major changes in culture.

TEDx was born to stimulate the conversation between professionals, students, and idea generators of all ages, and 30 years later, there are more than 2,200 TEDx, and their popularity continues to grow.

“I feel like TEDx SVSU could help bring diverse individuals together to converge and contribute to a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences,” said fourth-year psychology major Nik Berkobien.

“As we progress in our degrees, we have a tendency to narrow our focus to a point where sometimes we forget about things that go on outside of our discipline,” Berkobien said. “This is natural, but I think exposure to a variety of important ideas is healthy, especially if those ideas aren’t talked about enough.”

Berkobien said it is important to have a forum for meaningful discussion, and TEDx captures that spirit well.

“This is also why I am willing to contribute my time, energy, and money to this cause,” he said. “I feel like it has potential and could go somewhere if people continue to work on and support this idea.”

There are many ways to be involved with TEDx, as it offers talks online featuring writers, scientists and world leaders, and students can join the club on OrgSync if they would like to learn more.

“I think TEDx at SVSU is important, because it shows people that even a smaller school like SVSU can bring its students the same type of experiences as the other universities, with the added benefit of having it in a more intimate setting,” fourth-year exercise science major Ashlyn Swafford said. “I am most looking forward to hearing Glenn Daniels and Brian Thomas speak. Their lectures on carbon footprints and inspiring ultramarathons are things that I find incredibly interesting.”

Swafford said she has listened to much of TEDx online and hasn’t been disappointed by the content.

“Every speaker has something enlightening to talk about, and I think a ticket fee is a small price to pay to be physically present for these incredible thoughts,” she said.

SVSU is bringing in a diverse group of speakers, from virtual reality to basic introductions, and there will be something for students of every interest.

“With TED’s increasing popularity, bringing a TEDx event to campus is a great opportunity for both the students and the community,” said Fourth-Year biology major crystal Gwizdala.“Students can expand their minds with more refreshing and unique subject matter and the community can get involved and get professional speaking experience. I’m looking forward to hearing the life experiences and insights of the speakers.”

Gwizdala said TEDx promotes ideas worth spreading, and she enjoys learning from each lecture.

“I enjoy my classes, but there’s a different spin to TED talks,” she said. “It’s a profound potpourri of subject matter, and I’m always inspired to wonder after listening to a talk.”

SVSU alum Sam Nelson said TEDx can help people’s perceptions and embolden their outlook.

“It’s important for any student or human being in general to be exposed to different viewpoints – either to challenge their own views, strengthen them, or encourage the viewer to see the world in a new way,” Nelson said. “They cover a wider range of topics than most lectures, which makes them appealing to me even after five years of lectures.”