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TEDx at UIC

By Shannon Keane, Copy Editor (skeane3@uic.edu)

Question: Which recent event featured six amazing guest speakers, over one hundred UIC students, and a spotlight on our own generation of millennials?

Answer: UIC’s second annual TEDx event!

TEDx is an independently organized program that allows local communities to experience their own version of TED talks—a collection of inspirational, powerful, and motivational conferences that can also be viewed online. The theme for this year’s program is “The Millennial Generation.” Speakers will discuss how this generation is changing the world and how the new age of digital communication is changing their responsibilities.

This year’s TEDx event was held on April 18th between 5PM and 9PM at the James Stukel Towers (JST) Events Center. It hosted six speakers covering different topics, all with the collective main goal of describing how this generation can change and help the world. This year’s speakers included LAS Distinguished Professor Peter Doran, co-founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Moneythink Ted Gonder, launcher of the Experience Institute Victor Saad, multidisciplinary designer Cristina Vanko, and wedding photographer Mili Ghosh.

Junior Palak Patel, co-organizer of TEDxUofIChicago, showed nothing but excitement and anticipation for the event.  Patel recalled communicating with a speaker from Africa. “It’s just really inspiring to get emails from people [from all over] asking either to speak or just come see the event.”

While TEDx is a relatively new event at UIC, it’s a great opportunity for students to learn more about themselves and the community around them. The speakers go above and beyond to encourage the millennial generation in creating a better world.

Attendees completed an online ticket application and the top applicants were selected; everyone—not just students—were welcome to apply. Over one hundred people attended and TEDxUofIChicago is still gaining popularity. “We’re hoping to go bigger next year,” Patel said. “We’re going to try to get five hundred people to attend.”

TEDx hasn’t been without its challenges, however. When asked what the hardest part of organizing has been, Patel admitted: “We’ve had a hard time with fundraising.”

However, Patel believes this is only the beginning for TEDxUofIChicago: “We’ve been planning since the beginning of the year and hope to [keep getting] bigger and better.”

For further information about TEDxUofIChicago, check out tedxatuic.com. If you would like to become more involved next year, please email tedxuofichicago@gmail.com.

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