UI Tedx event in October


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A form of academic discussion that has swept the nation, TEDx, will make its first University of Iowa appearance next month.

TEDx is a set of conferences that take place around the country. These events allow communities, organizations, and individuals a chance to share their voices through inspiring stories and experiences at a local level. 

The conference will take place in the IMU second-floor ballroom on Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Because TED encourages every event to be interdisciplinary, the UI chose its TEDx theme to be “excel.”

“We thought that [having the excel theme] is a really nice way to make it unique to our campus,” said Paul Mintner, the coordinator of leadership programs for the UI Center for Student and Leadership.

“We want people to excel both personally and professionally, and the people we’re going to have talk at this event have done that themselves and are going to be sharing a little about that.”

UI senior Anthony Ferguson was chosen out of 22 applicants to be the TEDx student speaker.

“I’m kind of a person, when I see an opportunity, I try to jump on everything and like being involved in tons of stuff,” he said. “It’s always been my dream to publicly speak in front of someone and share my personal stories, so I just went ahead and applied, not really knowing completely what I was getting myself into, but knowing that I really wanted to share something.”

Not wanting to give away too many details, Ferguson said his topic will be his own story based on excelling and overcoming barriers in his life, which allowed him to join different organizations and eventually prevail at the UI.

Along with Ferguson, there will be seven other nonstudent speakers who all have affiliations with the UI.

The 100 tickets available for the UI students sold out almost entirely on the first day.

The tickets were sold in proportion to the population of the undergraduate and graduate students, meaning 75 of the tickets went to undergraduate students while the remainder was sold to graduate students.

Mintner said that the reason behind having only 100 seats available is to control the quality of the event.

“[TEDx] didn’t want to just give its name to something and not turn out in the standards of what it has,” he said.

Between February and late March of this year, the UI was granted the license and conducted the actual planning.

Both graduate and undergraduate students assisted in the planning.

“Everything from the planning has been really organized and everyone in the committee has worked really hard to get this rolling,” said Jack Cumming, the vice president of UI Student Government. “Oct. 12 is going to be something really special.”

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