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TEDx event looking to recruit students


BY Tara Harris

For the first time ever, Cleveland State University students have the opportunity to become speakers for the famous organization TED. Applications are available until May 30 for speakers, master of ceremonies (MCs) and volunteers.

The independently organized TED event, TEDxClevelandStateUniversity, is being presented by the College of Business and will take place October 3, 2014. The live event will be held in the Waetjen Auditorium and a live-stream simulcast event will be held in Drinko Hall.

“I think for students who have not been to this part of campus they will be delightfully surprised to get to know these two gem facilities,” said Nate Ward, co-organizer of TEDxClevelandStateUniversity and Director of the International Trade Assistance Center in the Monte Ahuja College of Business Outreach and Engagement Center.
“We also intend to do a lot in the lobby space of the building for our event.”

Cleveland State obtained a license from TED to run this TED-styled conference earlier this year, said Ward.

“We are very excited to be the first university in the Cleveland area to host a TEDx event. October’s event will be our first and we expect this will become an annual event.”

Anyone can nominate a speaker or enter themselves. Approximately 10 speakers will be chosen for the event.

“There is little boundary to the topics or speakers, but we want to highlight people from Cleveland State’s community first and foremost,” said Ward. “We look first at new ideas that come from the Cleveland State community, but are also widely relatable.”

“We want people to share an idea they are passionate about; ideas that need to be defended — perhaps leading to an interesting argument. We want to hear ideas the world hasn’t heard before or ideas that might change people’s perceptions,” said Ward. “Some of the best talks I’ve heard have been about diverse subjects like beekeeping, bio-mimicry, architecture, or how to live in a world crowded with mobile technology.”

A couple of MCs will be selected to hype up the crowd via a YouTube video contest.

“TEDx events are unique in so many ways. The biggest way is connecting the experience to the audience,” said Ward. “We need the MCs to be energizing, charismatic, and quick on their feet. The MC has to keep the event rolling while engaging the audience with what they’re experiencing.”

A lot of people are needed to volunteer their time to this event as a huge turnout is expected.

“We’ll need people to help as speaker coaches to help perfect the talk, individuals to contribute to the set, creation of items for the lobby, for marketing, and for a variety of duties the day of the event,” said Ward.

This TEDxClevelandStateUniversity event will prove to be beneficial and empowering to students, the community and others.

“TEDx events are about changing people’s lives, our community, and celebrating progress. It embraces optimism and the power of how we can improve our collective lives,” Ward said. “For those who have watched talks on www.ted.com there is an understanding of the power of these events. I think it naturally speaks to young minds like those at Cleveland State.”

“Plus, students will have a chance to have their message heard and to connect with some amazing and talented people across the university including alumni, professors and community partners,” he added.

To apply for these special opportunities or for more information see TEDxClevelandStateUnversity on Cleveland State’s website.