TEDx returning to campus to inspire new ideas


Alyssa Ochss

TEDx is coming back to Oakland University on April 2 and brings a list of speakers with a wide variety of topics to discuss in hopes to spark inspiration in attendees.

The first time TEDx came to OU was in 2014, and the last TEDx live speaker event was in 2017. This year, there is a different format to the event, and it will be hosted in Dodge Hall. The event was hosted in the O’rena in 2015, and the hope is to move it back to the O’rena.

According to the TED website, “TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe.” TEDx events are separate from the TED talks and events.

The talks are run by communities, universities and other groups around the globe. TEDx Oakland University was set up completely by the work of volunteers dedicated to something they are passionate about.

Luke Bambrick, president of TEDx Oakland University, and Amy Rutledge, faculty adviser and licensee for the event, love seeing the passion and commitment of the volunteers. Rutledge said when they heard some of the upcoming transcripts for the event, their faces lit up.

“We were so excited the night we heard the transcripts,” Rutledge said. “They got to see it come to together and their hard work paid off.”

TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED talks that encourage audience members to ask new questions, consider different points of view, and spark deep discussion and reflection. Speakers at the OU conference include Barbara Rausch, PJ Roberts and Justin Odisho.

Rausch fights against human trafficking in Pontiac and is the founder of Hope Against Trafficking, Roberts is a singer and songwriter and Odisho is a YouTuber with over 660,000 subscribers.

Other speakers on the list are digital wellness expert Mark Ostach and spoken word artist Mikhaella Norwood.

The faculty is just as excited to see the students absorb and truly learn something from the speakers. Rutledge said their speakers go through an application process before reaching students’ ears, which includes short videos of their speeches and other forms of interviews.

“I’m really excited about it and it will be fun and interesting,” Rutledge said. “We are setting the bar high for our speakers.”

This event is free to attend and is hosted by the TEDx student organization. More information about the organization can be found on GrizzOrgs.

Bambrick said new ideas are always popping up at TEDx, and they’re something students don’t want to miss out on.

“Nothing is more powerful than being in the room when a brand new idea is being spread,” Bambrick said, “and you won’t want to miss out on that.

The TEDxOaklandUniversity Conference will be Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. in 201 Dodge Hall. Tickets are available for free at the OSI Service Window in the basement of the Oakland Center.

TEDx talks are also recorded and posted to the TED website, TED.com, for anyone who is unable to attend the event.