Students bring TEDx to Georgia Tech
On Sunday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., TEDxGeorgiaTech will take place in the LeCraw Auditorium of the Scheller College of Business. The event will feature several short talks, with topics ranging from scientific breakthroughs to inspiring human stories.
Second-year computer science majors and co-directors of TEDxGeorgiaTech Yamini Nambiar and Sana Ajani are excited for what this year’s TEDxGeorgiaTech has in store. This year's theme is “Raise Your Ideas to the Next Power.”
“It’s all about amplifying ideas — taking something simple and exponentiating it,” Nambiar said.
The TEDx program was created to continue TED’s mission of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Through TEDx, organizers hold events to spark intellectual conversations and connect people from within their community. The events are planned independently with a free license granted by TED. This enables anyone to host a TED-like event in his or her own area.
The goal of TEDxGeorgiaTech is to showcase ideas from the community and foster further innovation at Georgia Tech. Past speakers have included photographers, social business owners, and doctors.
“We will feature eight speakers from around Atlanta,” Nambiar said. “There will be everything from entrepreneurs to artists — even a Swedish pop star.”
Speakers are chosen by a team of Georgia Tech students. Nambiar worked with 14 other students to choose prominent figures from the Atlanta area who would be of interest to the Georgia Tech community. The list of speakers will soon be announced on the TEDxGeorgiaTech website.
Students who want to experience TEDx firsthand have until April 1 to apply to be an audience member. Audience members have the opportunity to meet the speakers and talk to them directly. TEDxGeorgiaTech also posts videos of all past speakers online.
“Watching TEDxGeorgiaTech live and in person provides a unique experience that isn’t offered by only viewing it online,” Nambiar said. She encourages students to apply and witness the event directly. “It gives you a chance to meet with speakers and discuss topics you’re interested in."
Taking TED Off Campus
Another TEDx opportunity is being organized two Georgia Tech students in their hometown just west of Atlanta. Mahdi Al Husseini, a third-year biomedical engineering and public policy major, and Joshua Barnett, a third-year physics major, will host the second annual TEDxDouglasville on April 9.
Last year’s event sparked more than half a million YouTube views and engaged local organizations such as the Douglas Youth Department and Progressive Action Towards the Health of Douglasville. Even with these accomplishments, TEDxDouglasville has plans to grow.
“With each new event, our team rediscovers the fulfillment of public service and sets precedent for even younger members to make tangible changes in their communities,” Husseini said.
Husseini was inspired to begin a TEDx event in Douglasville to give back to his hometown. Organizing the event simply began with applying for a license online at TED’s website.
“Many Georgia Tech students have a burning desire to change the world,” he said. “You can start here in Atlanta’s backyard.” He encourages other students to host their own TEDx events.
Georgia Tech faculty members Laura Cadonati (physics), Brian Hammer (biology), and Raja Scharr (biomedical engineering) will speak at this year’s event. Topics will range from biology to industrial design, and tickets can be purchased here for $20. Lunch will be provided. As with all TEDx events, videos of each speaker will be posted following the conference.