In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading,” TED has created TEDx: a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
On Mar. 29, the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences hosted its third annual TEDxNSU, where x = independently organized TED event. The event was co-organized by Leanne Boucher, Ph.D., and W. Matthew Collins, Ph.D., assistant professors, along with committee members Jason Gershman, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of mathematics, and James Munoz, Ph.D., assistant professor.
TEDxNSU 2014 featured an afternoon of engaging presentations by members of the NSU community, video screenings of past TED talks, a slideshow of photos captured by an NSU faculty member, and several interactive demonstrations. Each component related to this year’s event theme, “Game Changers.”
Prior to hearing the keynote talks, attendees mingled and enjoyed a selection of “tailgating” food. Some participants completed a scavenger-hunt questionnaire as a way to learn more about fellow attendees, while many wrote a public response to the provocative statement “Before I die…” posted on a wall lining NSU’s Performance Theatre. Attendees were also encouraged to view various parasites under microscopes, which served as a preview to one of the day’s live talks.
The presentations began with a slideshow of fascinating photos from the Eastern Tropical Pacific taken by Joshua Feingold, Ph.D., professor at the college. The images included a rare glimpse of the orange dorid (sea slug), one of only three photos ever taken of this undescribed species.
The first half of live TEDxNSU talks included: “Parasites Lost: The Journey from Woeful Worms to Helpful Monsters,” by Christopher Blanar, Ph.D., assistant professor at the college; “The Gray Area,” by Natalie Negron, an Honors biology major; “Recognize Your Habits, Change Your Destiny,” by Mike Kelly, an alumnus of NSU’s M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution program; and “So There Is No Free Will. Now What?” by Robert Speth, Ph.D.,professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy.
During the event’s “half-time” session, attendees were encouraged to participate in an edible experiment. Those who consumed a “miracle berry” candy experienced a perceptual illusion: sour foods such as lemons and salt-and-vinegar potato chips suddenly tasted sweet.
The second half of live talks by NSU community members included: “A Perimenopausal Blonde Walks into a University…,” by Carol Dowd-Forte, an alumna of NSU’s M.A. in Writing program; “Darwin’s Descendants and the Evolution of an Idea,” by Glenn Scheyd, Jr., Ph.D.,associate professor and assistant director of the college’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences; “Breast Cancer, Premature Puberty, and the Environment,” by Jean Latimer, Ph.D., associate professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy; and “The Ultimate Teammate: The High Five,” by Brooklyn Kohlheim, an assistant coach for NSU’s Women’s Basketball team.
The event also included screenings of two TED Talks: “Before I Die, I Want To…,” by Candy Chang and “Dance vs. PowerPoint: A Modest Proposal,” by John Bohannon.
Following the keynote talks, attendees reconvened in the Performance Theatre lobby and discussed the ideas shared throughout the event over dessert and refreshments.
“This was our best event yet!” said TEDxNSU co-organizer Boucher. “The speakers and their stories were very inspiring, and the interactive exhibits—especially the ‘flavor-tripping’ experience—really engaged attendees. We can’t wait for next year!”
Likewise, TEDxNSU 2014 made a lasting impression on its participants, who traveled from across South Florida (and even out of state) to experience the event.
“I loved the whole day,” said one attendee after the event. “There was such energy in the air. I learned so much and had such neat experiences—loved the lemon thing—and would look forward to the opportunity to do it all over again!”
eXperience TEDxNSU for Yourself
Visit the TEDxNSU page to relive this year’s event—featuring photos, videos, links to TEDxNSU on social media, and more!
About TEDx, x=independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event.
The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.*
(*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.