Georgetown TEDx Organizes First Official Conference
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 02:08
This fall, Georgetown will hold its first-ever independently organized event as a fully licensed TED member.
TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is a nonprofit organization that invites speakers to give 18-minute lectures and then posts video recordings online. Operating under the slogan “Ideas worth spreading,” the program aims to provide a forum for sharing information between countries and across disciplines.
Georgetown’s event, which is designated TEDx because it is independently organized, is planned for Sept. 28 and will feature lectures on the theme “Power 2020.”
Lecturers include TIME Magazine Editor-At-Large Bobby Ghosh, violinist Tai Murray and Moisés Naím, chief international columnist for Spain’s largest newspaper, El País.
“We were really looking for speakers from all fields,” TEDx Chair Jamie Sharp (MSB ’15) said. “Anyone can give a TEDx talk, and the topic, ‘Power,’ is broad enough that … [speakers must be] capable of giving a really high-quality speech in a short space of time that conveys a specific idea.”
According to Sharp, Georgetown applied for a TED license for the first time in 2010, but each individual event must be relicensed.
“TEDx is happy to give you the license, as long as you are prepared to stick to their rules and regulations, such as no branding and no speaker fees,” Sharp said.
Ceyda Erten (SFS’13) organized an unofficial TEDx conference, “Netcetera, Internet and Everything Else,” in March 2011.
At the conference, Georgetown students and professors spoke about the Internet’s impact on society. The participants’ speeches were filmed and posted on the organization’s website.
Erten tapped members of Georgetown University Lecture Fund to help organize the first event, which occurred last March.
While TEDx is an independent organization, many committee members overlap with Lecture Fund leadership.
Both Erten and Sharp are Lecture Fund members, but Sharp emphasized that the two organizations are run independent of one another.
“TED rules state that TEDx must be an independent event,” he said. “Some TEDx leaders are from Lecture Fund and some aren’t, but TEDx gets speakers by itself and Lecture Fund advises us.”
Sharp said he looks forward to organizing more TEDx events at Georgetown.
“It’s been a long road, yet a fun and exciting one, so I don’t see [any reason not to] make this a yearly event,”he said.
Kamran Haris (SFS ’15), who is unaffiliated with the event, said he believes TEDx programs will provide a refreshing variety of speaker events to the university.
“It’s one thing to read about a potential topic and hear snippets from news articles. It’s another thing entirely to see someone in live flesh talk about it,” Haris said. “I think that a TEDx talk … will finally bring to light some of those unique stories that have brought us here together at Georgetown.”