Oakland University’s first TEDx event is a success


The first TEDx at Oakland University featured 14 speakers and several labs to showcase all the ideas worth spreading in the community.

Amy Butler, Barb Oakley, Sheryl Connelly, Jenenne Whitfield, Mark Simon, Terri Orbuch, Graeme Harper, Daniel Cho, Rod Rock, Brandon Bernier, Allandra Bulger, Charlie Wollborg, Eldridge Alexander and Richard Stamps were all featured speakers. They took the stage and shared ideas they thought were worth spreading.

“At the beginning of a new romance, lust makes you blind,” Terri Orbuch, professor of sociology at Oakland said.

Orbuch’s speech “Lust or Love” informed students on how to distinguish the differences between lust and love. She mentioned four key steps: connection, saying we rather than I, self-disclosure and influence of one another.

Daniel Cho, 12-year-old composer, violinist and pianist shared his passion for violin through a performance that was comprised of four separate parts.

Bringing TEDx to Oakland required a lot of team work.

“We created six functional committees; one was specifically for choosing speakers,” Antonio Morado, student liaison for TedX said. “Those committees with our 93 volunteers worked on planning this event from start to finish.”


The event also had several labs, which were created for ideas worth sharing that can’t be done on a stage.

One lab that was featured was Ben’s Encore, a non-profit organization that was created to give an opportunity for aspiring musicians to get education. They go to schools, summer camps, street fairs and clubs with the goal to inspire kids and adults to love music.

“Anytime we can go into a school or camp and you see the wonder on kids’ eyes,” Christopher Helmer said. “Making learning fun for them is really cool.”

Other labs that were involved were Café de Kuna, Graphic Design Club, Camp Casey and Student Organic Farm.


A ThinkTank, which allows anonymous sharing of ideas, was also set up by Daniel Elis, a recent graduate of Oakland.

ThinkTank was used for launching astronauts into space and drafting constitutions of countries according to their website.

“My biggest thing is that we have a lot of great thinkers that don’t voice their opinion because they’re too shy or timid,” Elis said. “This ThinkTank software allows anonymous person to share their input.”

“We plan on making this an every year thing,” Morado said. “We want it to scale and be much bigger.”

Exact Photography, TEDx Oakland University Student Organization, School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland, Association for Information Systems, Student Congress, Association for Computing Machinery, School of Business Administration, Student Program Board and College of Arts and Sciences sponsored Tedx.