By Ryan Smith
Ideas worth spreading. That’s the mantra behind TEDxRyersonU, a daylong event in November which will bring inspirational speakers together with Ryerson students and alumni.Birthed out of the greater TED initiative, whose talks are a regular feature in classrooms across campus, TEDx events like TEDxRyersonU are designed to provide “TED-like experiences at the local level.”
TEDxRyersonU’s 2012 conference is the third of Ryerson’s annual series and is set to be the biggest so far. Continuing on the past themes of inspiring the future and thinking forward, this year’s talk will focus on taking action.
The number of speakers is not yet finalized but is currently estimated at 12. Speakers such as George Smitherman, former deputy premier of Ontario, and Andreas Souvaliotis, founder of Green Rewards and AIR MILES for Social Change will take the stage to share their ideas with audience members.
“We want to expose all of Ryerson to something new and inspire some change in their lives. It’s not everyday that you get to hear [these] different perspectives that provide practical experience, advice and wisdom from people who have the experience to share,” said Ryerson’s TEDx curator and third year Business Technology Management student, Thomas George.
“At the end of the day we want people to act on something that they are truly passionate about to improve our world,” he said.
Audience members, known in the TEDx community as delegates, must apply online to gain access to the event. Would-be delegates are screened during registration with five questions in effort to maximize the event’s benefit to those in attendance. Registration closes on October 26.
”Success in TEDx comes down to having the best delegates possible. Having delegates that are willing to, with open minds, explore new and exciting ideas. This is what the application process allows us to do. We want you to tell us who you really are, tell us what you’re interested in, and tell us what separates you from everyone else on campus,” explains George.
Outside of the talks themselves, one of the goals of the event is to provide students with networking opportunities, not only with the speakers but with other delegates in attendance.
“During the breaks [delegates and speakers] are encouraged to meet [each other] to share their perspectives. Networking is a big part of this,” said George. “Personally I know more than a handful of people… that have really benefited from [the networking aspect],” he said, “[If you] come open minded… you really never know what will happen.”
So far only four of the speakers have been announced but the names of other speakers will be released periodically online over the coming weeks.
Admission to the event costs $25 and it will be held on November 25th, 2012 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens. The start time of the event is still under deliberation. The talks will also be streamed live on the TEDxRyersonU’s webpage.