TEDx is coming to OU


Don’t want to miss out on a fundamental moment in campus history? Save the date: TEDx is coming to OU on March 15.

“We’re very excited to be putting on the [Tedx] for the first time at OU,” said Laura Dinsmoor, the computer engineering professor who, alongside co-chair and fellow faculty member Amy Rutledge, has been organizing the event since last spring. “We hope it is the start of many to come.”

TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design” and is an annual set of conferences held around the world. The event consists of multiple speakers, entertainment in the forms of anything from dance to poetry. Each conference is taped and broadcast on the TED website, ted.com/talks, for anyone to see.

“The conferences are known for having the most innovative talks that cover a wide spectrum of topics and maintain the spirit of [TED’s] slogan: “Ideas worth spreading,” explained the program/student liaison for the student committee, senior Antonio Morado. “TEDxOaklandUniversity is OU’s chance to have a student-run and student-focused conference filled with speakers, performers, and innovative ‘ideas worth spreading’.”

“Our theme this year is ‘Inspiration’,“ said Dinsmoor. “We want to put on a show that inspires and interests our students.”

Speakers for the event are slowly being leaked on the conference’s website, tedxoaklanduniversity.com. Speakers already announced include former OU TALK faculty adviser Brandon Bernier and Jenenne Whitfield, the executive director of The Heidelberg Project.

“Her story about art, energy and community in Detroit’s east side is very intriguing,” said Morado. “With national attention on this open-air art project, I am interested in the idea that community rejuvenation can be done through an urban art movement.”

Since advertising recruitment through a banner hung in the Oakland Center last fall, Dinsmoor explained that the project has over 100 registered student volunteers assisting with its many committees.

“[Committees] are responsible for everything from choosing speakers to the physical local arrangements required for putting on the event. We are also in the process of adding student speakers, performers, and TEDx labs tables,” said Morado.

Dinsmoor added that student performances are an important part of TEDx.

Morado agreed. “We are hoping to get support from Music, Theatre, and Dance,” he said. “Performers can find a submission form on the ‘apply’ tab of our website.”

Morado said that students can still get involved with the TED project by supporting the fundraiser on February 21 at Olga’s across Walton from OU as well as a fundraiser on March 3 at Buffalo Wild Wings. “Make sure to bring our flyer with you and a percentage of your order will go directly to funding the TEDxOaklandUniversity conference. Putting on a conference of this size is expensive and we could use all the support we can get.”

“In years to come, I can see having the event in the O’rena with 1,500 people attending,” said Dinsmoor. “We just have to get it off its feet.”

Due to TED rules, tickets are free but limited to 100 seats and will be selected through a lottery system. For more information on tickets or on the event, visit www.tedxoaklanduniversity.com.

The Oakland Post would like to stress that TEDx is in no way affiliated with the non-profit TED company, and is an independently held conference put on by surrounding communities.