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A group of student leaders has invited TEDx to come to Hamline’s campus Apr. 5, 2019 and are inviting community members to speak.

Shylie Burleson-King, Senior Reporter

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TEDx talks have appeared in media for a few years now, being shown in classrooms and broadcasted worldwide. This international platform has invited speakers from all places, experiences and backgrounds with all different sorts of ideas, stories and studies- and Apr. 5, 2019 Hamline will join that global community. Senior Connor Suddick has been working with fellow senior Mohamed Mohamed on this idea since its conception in 2017.

“This idea of the TEDx started in the Honor Student Executive Board meeting… it came up in fall of 2017,” Mohamed said. “Connor and I are the only ones who have been with it the entire time.”

Suddick received the license from TEDx to use their platform, but the entire leadership team has been working together to bring the event to Hamline. Conner Suddick’s officially titles as compliance Officer and Co-Emcee. He is accompanied by his peers junior Raie Gessesse, Curation Officer and Co-Emcee, sophomore Egezahariya Yilma, Logistics Officer and Co-Volunteer Manager, Mohamed Mohamed, technology and Website Officer and sophomore Gannon Larson, Financial Officer and Co-Volunteer Manager.

Larson also acts as the collaborations programmer for Hamline University Programming Board (HUPB), working with the TEDx leadership team.

“I’m mostly on the board because of [my position] on the Programming Board, HUPB, and Connor reached out to me,” Larson said. “I was like ‘yeah, that sounds awesome. I’d love to be a part of that.’ And now here we are.”

This event is unlike some TEDx talks because the leadership team will not be selecting any speakers for it. Instead they invite any member of the Hamline community to submit their ideas to a selections committee.

“We wanted to give Hamline a global platform with a respected brand. We’ve wanted to make this engage as many voices as possible… We’re creating an interdisciplinary team of two staff, two faculty and two students to be selecting the speakers in like January,” Suddick said.

Their selections will be announced in mid-to-late January, but there is still time to get involved.

“We’re doing this open platform because we only know a small fraction of the Hamline Community,” Suddick said. “The applications are going to be anonymous, the leadership team will remove names and emails… So the submission will be judged on the merit of the idea.”

Senior Maddy Dopp heard about the event through her professor, Katie Adams, who is utilizing the opportunity to teach their students how to speak on this type of platform.

“I’ve been super excited about that because we have to give ‘fake’ TedTalks in my gender communications class,” Dopp said over a phone interview. “It’ll be cool to see what we’ve studied about TedTalks, like how to present one, making yourself genuine and having a good through line, are implemented during their time here.”

Speakers are invited to submit their ideas anytime before Dec. 15, and to email with any questions. The theme of the event is “‘Inspire, Empower, Ignite.’ “We want the community to feel inspired by the ideas discussed, empowered through new information, and spread the ideas with corresponding action.”

“This theme is sort of indicative of how the project got started,” Suddick said. “It started as a conversation. Mohamed and I were talking about how much we enjoyed TedTalks and thought ‘wouldn’t it be cool if Hamline did this?’. We started thinking about, gathering the information- Hamline has the facilities, and it was doable. Then we started acting on this idea and the information we had.”

The leadership team is also working to gather volunteers and sponsors for the event. Currently, HUPB, HUSC and the Honors department have been sponsors of the TEDx talk, and volunteer openings will be announced via the group’s Facebook page, TEDx HamlineUniversity. TEDx also has a page on their website with information about the event, ticketing and other details. Currently, the event is private, but it will be live-streamed to accessible areas on Hamline’s Campus, as well as available off-campus through the live stream.

“We want to get other students involved,” Suddick said. “Doing video work, helping with volunteers, the live stream, etcetera. We want this to be an event Hamline can take the lead in, show who we are, and feel connected as a community.”

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Welcome to our TED Talk