The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is set to host a TEDx event for the first time on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the Dreyfus University Center Alumni Room.
With over 2,000 TED talks and nearly 100,000 TEDx talks circulating YouTube, TED has become a household name. From light issues like “why we procrastinate” or the “importance of comedy” to powerful topics like social justice or mental illness, these videos address almost every subject area imaginable.
TED began as a nonprofit conference in 1984 where experts discussed topics related to Technology, Entertainment and Design. It has grown immensely since then, and now encompasses a wider variety of subject areas than the original three that gave TED its namesake.
All TED talks can be found online, free of charge, on either YouTube or the TED official website. Attending a TED conference live comes with a heftier price tag, since all attendees must apply, be accepted and pay the yearly membership fee which starts at $10,000.
In an effort to make TED talks less exclusive, TEDx was launched in 2009.
TEDx is a day-long conference that is independently organized by volunteers in the community hosting the event.
TEDx conferences must follow the extensive list of rules set forth by the TED organization and apply for a license in order to be recognized as an official TED event. The content must be bias-free and focus on the same ultimate goal as all other TED conferences: to spread ideas.
Josh Nauber-Finch, TEDx UW-Stevens Point President and senior arts management and communication majors, first got the idea to bring TEDx to Stevens Point after talking to a friend who worked on TEDx Oshkosh.
Nauber-Finch said, after doing some research, “I saw that there’s a lot of events happening across the country and also in Wisconsin, so I figured why not in Stevens Point?”
Nauber-Finch then reached out to some friends who he thought might be interested in helping, gained support from members of Administration on campus and took the proper steps to both become recognized by the TED organization and as an official club at UWSP.
Every TEDx event is required to have a theme to set the tone and present an overarching question or statement. The theme for UWSP’s event is “Small City, Big Ideas.”
“We juggled between three or four ideas until we finally came to this one and we teamed up with CREATE Portage County, who’s running a campaign,” Nauber-Finch said.
Nauber-Finch is very passionate about this theme and stresses that “just because you might be in a small city or you might come from nothing, that does not discredit you at all. Any individual can have a brilliant idea.”
The event is quickly drawing near, but it’s not too late to get involved. Students are encouraged to join the TEDx UWSP team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students and staff are also encouraged to attend the free mini-series event that will be happening in the weeks leading up to the main event. The date has not yet been determined but will be advertised on the student announcements, as well as the club’s Facebook page. At this event, attendees will watch a selection of TED talks and be provided with discussion questions to promote conversation and application from the varied topics.
“My goal is to see conversation happen on this campus,” Nauber-Finch said. “We as a whole organization want to be able to give those who have an idea a platform to express themselves as they see fit.”
Any who are interested in joining the conversation can still buy tickets for the full-day event on Feb. 17 at the Ticket and Info Desk in the DUC or on the UWSP tickets website. The cost is $20 for UWSP students and $35 for community members. The event will feature seven speakers, and lunch is included in the cost of the ticket.
More information on the event can be found on the TEDx UW-Stevens Point Facebook page.
Arts & Entertainment Sectional Editor