Next semester, ETSU will be receiving a new organization called TEDx.

TEDx will be a nonprofit independent organization led by current senior and president Dustin Gilmer. With this program, Gilmer hopes to better the ETSU community with a succession of interesting talks.

TedX originates from a parent organization called TED. TED was founded in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman. Wurman had a dream of uniting certain subjects which he noticed had a strong correlation with each other. These subjects are technology, entertainment and design, which creates the acronym TED. The first launch of the TED program failed, but a later installment achieved resounding success.

Now, TED is an organization known for it’s influential guest speakers who teach and lecture on diverse topics such as philosophy, religion, business, science, music and others. Speakers are ethnically diverse, and the TED program is carried on in over 100 languages.

With the approval of TED, smaller communities are able to help spread the mission of igniting interesting conversation among open-minded individuals with a sub-sect of TEDx.

Gilmer and students have petitioned for the license and approval of TEDx at ETSU and will soon see the result of those efforts. Though there are no early names that can be released for who will talk, Gilmer is confident that they will be carefully chosen. As with TED, the ETSU TEDx board is open to creating an open dialogue of diverse topics.

Speakers will not just be limited to lectures from faculty members, either. Students are highly encouraged to participate themselves in educating their peers.

“We’re hoping to have 60 percent guest or faculty members as speakers and about 40 percent to be student speakers,” Gilmer said.

Gilmer believes that students will benefit much by seeking and promoting their personal and educational interests.

“This is an opportunity for students to pursue knowledge and learning outside the classroom,” Gilmer said. “College is a time to learn and grow without the pressures of grades and exams.”

Gilmer is excited to see what will come of bringing this internationally-known speaker series onto the ETSU campus. Competitions beginning in November will be held to determine which students will speak.

“I, along with my leadership team and the students that we have recruited, believe that ETSU has ideas that can change the world,” Gilmer said.