For those who are fans of TED talks, a TEDx club was recently started at ETSU.
TEDx hosts TED talks, a lecture series where a speaker comes and speaks for 18 minutes or less on a well-formed idea. The topics for these talks range from big ideas, technology, social issues or different forms of art.
While some students have been viewers of TED Talks since high school, others have never experienced them live in person and are excited to see what they bring to campus.
Junior Dustin Gilmer is the student who worked hard to start a TEDx club on campus along with the help of advisers Scott Jeffers, director of the Roan Scholars program, and assistant director Jennifer Adler.
Gilmer believes that TEDx will be a great way to move students away from constant testing and into an experience where they can learn about real world subjects that supplement their classes.
“The reason why this is such a great thing on our campus is because it helps students branch out of the classroom,” Gilmer said. “What we really need to strive for is real learning and real ideas. That’s what TEDx is all about.”
Some of the major changes that the organization plans to bring to campus is to help spread awareness of different cultures and civility as well as different broad topics.
“We want to bring a diverse group of topics and speaker to our campus,” Gilmer said. “We want to bring new ideas”.
TEDx Club has a lot of goals they plan on achieving in the next year. One of these includes setting a date to bring a TED Talks speaker to ETSU’s campus in March 2017.
“Our main goal is to bring speakers, but we also want to identify speakers on our own campus and gain sponsors in the area,” Gilmer said.
The up-in-coming TEDx Club also plans on partnering with the Charles C. Sherrod Library to host speaking competitions throughout next year to help showcase the great public speakers, both graduate and undergraduate, on ETSU’s campus.
When it comes to bringing speakers to campus, Gilmer believes that staying original is important.
“We don’t want to bring people who TEDx has already hosted in the past,” Gilmer said.
Ideally, the club wants to bring in original speakers to talk about a variety of relevant colloquial topics — including Appalachian studies and bluegrass.
While the time the club will meet is still subject to change, students can expect meetings on Thursdays at the start of the new semester.