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TED Talks comes to UNT to inspire creativity

TED Talks comes to UNT to inspire creativity

TED Talks comes to UNT to inspire creativity
February 25
14:00 2014

Brittany Armstrong // Intern Writer

Every Monday night on the fourth floor of the Willis Library, an idea brainstorming session takes place at TEDxUNT meetings. Ten devoted volunteers take an hour to discuss speaker nominations and flier designs, parts of a larger plan to bring TED Talks to UNT.

TED is a non-profit organization that is devoted to spreading ideas. The word TED is an acronym for technology, entertainment and design, and represents an organization that originated as a single conference in 1984 and has since gained global attention.

The TED conference takes place annually on the West Coast. During the four-day event, more than 50 chosen speakers give 18-minute speeches, or TED Talks, on whatever topic they choose.

Attendance is free but limited to the space of the room. The presentations are always recorded and the videos can be found on YouTube and the TED website,

The TEDx program is an extension of the TED talks and represented at UNT. It hosts independently coordinated events that allow for individuals and organizations to encourage and discuss ideas at a local level.

“There are a lot of really great ideas with UNT and not many people know about it. TEDxUNT is the perfect stage for them,” said Tony Mendes, business professor and director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at UNT. Mendez is also the campus advisor who overseas the TEDxUNT group.

“Its an opportunity to highlight our outstanding leaders in the North Texas area,” Mendes said.

This is exactly what integrated studies senior Clarissa Redwine wants to do. Redwine is heading the initiative to bring the TEDxUNT to reality.

She works with 10 student-volunteers to orchestrate the event, but welcomes anyone who would like to join the cause. Many of the current volunteers are also members of UNT’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs organization with Redwine.

Similar to the original TED Talks, each speaker at UNT will speak for 18 minutes. Redwine and her fellow volunteers are in the process of asking each of UNT’s department chairs to nominate five people who would be good to speakers at the event in April.

Each TEDx event has its own individual theme. The TEDxUNT chose the theme “Here Be Dragons.” The phrase was used by English mapmakers during Medieval times to describe uncharted or unknown territory, but Redwine and the volunteers are using it as an inspiration to explore mystery.

“We are challenging the speakers and audience to embrace the unknown and find the opportunity in that,” Redwine said.

TEDxUNT volunteer Srujan Kotikela said he is glad that TEDx coming to UNT.

“It feels really great. Every time you see TED speakers talk you feel like, ‘wow it’s amazing,’” Kotikela said. “And now we have something in our own backyard,

The three-hour event will be held April 26th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The location has not yet been set, but Redwine and the group of volunteers said they would like to hold the event at the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theatre.

Tickets to the TEDxUNT will be available on in early April. It will be free for students, but limited to 100-audience members., per the TED organization.

This post has been revised to reflect the following corrections:

February 27, 2014

An earlier version of this post stated that TED Talks were often recorded. The presentations are always recorded.

The earlier post also misstated the date of the TEDxUNT event. The event takes place on April 26th, not April 27th.

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