Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, January 17, 2019

TEDx event to come on Friday

AU will host TEDx, an independently organized TED event, on April 17 in the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre for the second year in a row.

Many TEDx events like AU’s happen every year, each with separate themes. AU’s “Pollinators” theme was chosen in reference to the TED mission to share “ideas worth spreading,” according to Courtney Greenley, the event’s main organizer.

“This year’s theme personifies the idea of transferring ideas from person to person,” Greenley said. “When we were looking for speakers, we were looking for those who were taking their ideas, no matter how big they were, and trying to make them happen.”

Organized by Greenley, a 2014 School of International Service graduate, and a team of 30 volunteers, including Liza Morris, a 1995 School of Communication graduate, Tyler Steinhardt, an SIS junior and Ryan Anderson, a 2014 SIS graduate, this year’s TEDx will showcase individuals who are dancers, filmmakers and podcast producers, among others.

Speakers will include AU students, faculty and D.C. community members. SOC professor Chris Palmer will showcase skills they have learned working on the ground to make their ideas come to fruition, according to Greenley.

“TEDx American University will feature some of the brightest and innovative minds of our community, and I'm excited to help spread the big ideas of these changemakers,” Steinhardt said.

April’s event has the potential to draw more people than last year, with 280 seats open to attendees compared to the 100 open last year, according to Greenley

Although attendance is capped at 280, those wishing to view the event can do so virtually on the TEDx website and YouTube pages, according to Greenley.

Last year’s theme was “Exploring our Global Future,” and like this year, it came together entirely through volunteer efforts. Greenley and her team organized the event at AU following what they call the “TED bible,” a set of regulations provided by the national organization of TED proper.

“The TED bible states that we have to be multidisciplinary,” Greenley said. “We have to pay attention to everything, down to the camera angles we use for recording the event.”

Since last year, TEDx at American University has become an officially recognized campus organization . Named “TEDx American University Society,” the group aims to plan TEDx events on campus with more regularity through what are known as TEDx Salon talks, which will bring keynote speakers more than once a year.

“TEDx is putting AU on the map,” Greenley said. “It makes us an incubator of ideas.”

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