TEDxSU announces speakers for April 9 event

TEDxSU announced Monday the 15 people who will speak in the first-ever TEDx event on Syracuse University’s campus.

The event will be held in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium April 9 starting at 5 p.m.
The speakers include students, faculty and community members, including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED talks, an organization dedicated to spreading ideas involving technology, entertainment and design in the form of short, powerful talks. TEDx events allow independent organizers to create a TED-like event in their community.

Nathaniel Rose, a senior at SU and the lead organizer of the event, said a committee of eight students has been working to make the event a possibility since the beginning of the year. He said they received around 38 applications for the event, but wanted to make sure that no two talks are the same.

Rose said there are 300 tickets available that will go on sale April 1. He said the committee selected 15 speakers who had a consistent message that went with a theme of “Emerging Technologies and Human Relationships.”

“It’s definitely a different type of event,” Rose said. “The speakers are supposed to drive action and move and sway the audience, which is the SU community.”

Rose said Miner went through the same application process to become a speaker as others who applied.

“We were honored she was interested in the first TEDx event at Syracuse University,” he said.

Aidan Cunniffe, a sophomore entrepreneurship major, will be the first speaker during the event. He said he’s always been a big fan of TED talks and wanted to get involved when he heard they were coming to SU.

Cunniffe said he will be speaking about taking lessons from digital currencies, and whether or not those tools can be applied to the current economic system.

“There are some really awesome people speaking so it means a lot to be included in that group,” he said.

Carl Schramm, a university professor, said he’s also enjoyed TED talks for a long time. He added that he’s looking forward to being a part of the event.

Schramm said he’ll be speaking on failed cities and how to improve them. He said he thinks having TEDx on campus is great for the university.

Timi Komonibo, an SU graduate student studying public diplomacy, said she was surprised and honored to hear she was chosen as a speaker.

“With all the people who have done it in the past, I was honored to be a part of the group speaking at Syracuse,” she said.

Komonibo said her presentation will focus on sustainable fashion. She said it’s something she’s passioante about that she’s been able to turn into something that could help people.

Rose added that he’s seen a lot of student interest in attending and he’s looking forward to the event.

Said Rose: It’s going to be a night of ideas and topics presentations that really challenge the way we think, which is what TED’s focus is.”


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