For the second year in a row, students and faculty will have the opportunity to be inspired with the live stream of the national TED2013 conference today at the Lyric Theatre.
Last year, the live simulcast viewing of the TED conference, which is held annually in Long Beach, Calif., marked the beginning of Virginia Tech’s relationship with the non-profit organization.
Since then, the interest in TED has grown exponentially at the university. With the success of the first ever TEDx conference held last November, assistant director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, Danielle Lusk, hopes to keep up the buzz about TED.
“The live streaming event is nice because it coincides with what we’re going to do in the fall,” Lusk said. “We wanted to have the live stream event to keep the focus on our (second) TEDx event.”
The live stream will be held at the Lyric Theatre and will feature two sessions of the annual conference titled, “TED2013: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.” The first session, “Disrupt,” is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and will feature seven speakers, including Tomonari “BLACK” Ishiguro, the 2001 Single A world yo-yo champion.
The second session, “Dream,” is from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and will feature six speakers that include a variety of people, ranging from a nuclear scientist to a violinist. Admission is free, and attendees are welcome to come to one or both sessions.
TED’s annual conference features renowned speakers from across the globe that deliver short speeches, typically less than 18 minutes, called TED Talks.
“To me, the whole purpose of a TED talk is to inspire, inform and share your passion about what you’re doing with the world, as well as generate new ideas,” Lusk said.
Lusk, who is a co-chair for Tech’s second TEDx event next fall, believes that TED and Tech have similar philosophies, and that it is a worthwhile event because it can motivate others — specifically students — to change the world.
“TED is so inspiring and creative, and our motto is ‘Invent the Future,’ so what better venue to bring to campus than these people who are creating and innovating new things?” Lusk said. “It seems like the perfect match between our mission and what is going on with TED.”
TED was brought to campus last year by collaboration between different people, and Mauricio Castro, a senior business information technology major, was instrumental in the process. Castro co-organized the live streaming event last year and was an integral part of the steering committee for the TEDx event in November.
Castro became interested in bringing TED to Tech after watching numerous TED Talks online. Castro said he looked for a TEDx event to attend in the area but was surprised to find none near Blacksburg.
“I wanted to see who would come out and help bring TED to Tech, and surprisingly, a lot of people were interested,” Castro said. “The biggest thing that was really awesome about the event in November was that we had so many people (contribute), not just from the university, but from the community in general.”
It was Castro’s determination in co-founding TEDx at Tech that led him to be invited and sponsored by TED to attend TEDActive, a conference held in Palm Springs, Calif. during the same week as the national conference.
“TED (national conference) is for people who have already done big things, but TEDActive is for those who aspire to do big things,” Castro said.
While at TEDActive this week, Castro and the other attendees are not only watching the national conference, but are also participating in discussions and other brainstorming activities.
“The cool thing about being at a TED event is that you’re there with people. You just come off hearing the TED Talk and then you talk about what you just heard and how you’re inspired by it,” Castro said. “Then you start having ‘what if’ conversations, and that’s how change sometimes happens.”
Castro is most looking forward to having the chance to interact with the other TEDActive attendees who come from around the world. He is also excited to bring back what he learned from the conference to help better TEDx at the university.
Although he is graduating in May, Castro plans to stay involved with TED and watch from a distance as it grows at Tech.
“It’s a unique and inspiring event, and it really does match our mission of inventing the future,” Lusk said. “There are so many people in the Tech community doing unique, inspiring, and innovative things, that TEDx is a great venue to allow them to share what they’re doing and inspire the rest of the community.”
Lusk hopes that not only will the live stream event connect Tech to TED on a national level, but that it will also foster interest in the next Tech TEDx event.