I have always been impressed by our students’ resourcefulness and passion for new ideas. Every week, collegiate student groups, clubs, and organizations provide a great variety of opportunities for out-of-classroom, experiential learning.
For the past two months Wake Forest student organizers have been working alongside faculty and community partners to bring a variety of national experts to campus during Family Weekend. Inspired by TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Lucy Lan, Wake Forest’s student ambassador for the National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Alliance, has enlisted the support of over forty student volunteers to plan and host the first annual TEDxWakeForestU speakers series.
With the support of TED’s delivery platform, Lucy and her team have sourced eighteen engaging speakers to share insight on technological innovation, social impact and entrepreneurship. Their six-hour Saturday, February 25th event provides Wake Forest students with the opportunity to learn from an array of forward thinking practitioners, including:
Anthony Atala, Regenerative medicine researcher
Chris Bashinelli, TV host and activist
Lynn Book, Transmedia artist
Don deBethizy, CEO of Targacept
Samuel Cochran, Solar Ivy CEO and CDO
Andrew DiMeo, NC State entrepreneurship & design instructor
Detta Famiano, Founder of Famiano Design Group
Jacque Fetrow, Dean of the College, Wake Forest University
Peter Gilbert, Acclaimed filmmaker
Natasha Gore, ECHO program director
Paul Laurienti, Brain networks researcher
Jason Manley, Founder of Conceptart.org, The Art Department, One Big Mob, CA Social and President of Massive Black Inc.
Paúl Pauca, Developer of Verbal Victor
Mary Martin Niepold, Nyanya Project coordinator
Carl Nordgren, Founder and Creative Director of Creative Populist, Co-Founder of Minogi, and an Adjunct Professor in Creative Entrepreneurship at Duke University
Chuck Pell, CSO of Physcient
Dennis Quaintance, Weaver Quaintance hotel entrepreneur
Carol Strohecker, Director of the Center for Design Innovation
Polly Black, director of the OPCD’s Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, believes that the TEDx event has been an exciting experience for the student organizers: “they selected the speakers for the innovative ideas they are championing, the spark they bring to the stage and their ties to the community.” The CICE is one of the event’s four co-sponsors.
Student organizer Jake Graham (’13) has compared his experience on the conference planning committee to starting a small business: “We worked well as a team, even meeting via Skype from different sides of the earth over winter break to keep the event going. I think our collaboration with faculty and staff from offices around campus allowed us to consider our ideas with unique points of view that are different from our perspective as students to create a wonderful conference.”
Please encourage your students and members of the Winston-Salem community to attend this fantastic event. To date, over 900 students and community members have registered to attend. The event is FREE for Wake Forest University students, faculty and staff and is $10 for all other attendees. Attendees must reserve tickets online prior to the event and ticketing is only available at TEDxWakeForestU.com along with up-to-date information on the event program and other important information.