This year’s TEDxBinghamtonUniversity talks will focus on taking advantage of life’s limitless possibilities.
TEDxBU, an independent Technology, Education and Design (TED) event organized by the University, will be held in the Osterhout Concert Theater in the Anderson Center on Sunday, March 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. TED, started in 1984, is a media organization that posts free videos of talks online by speakers the organization deems notable or influential.
Last year’s theme was “Beyond the Canvas.” Daniel Pressman, a senior majoring in English and one of the student organizers for TEDxBU, said this year’s theme is “Infinity,” and connects all of the speakers’ talks by describing life’s potential and sustainable ways of living.
“It’s not just through the environment, but sustainable attitudes toward work, the criminal justice system, the way we view knowledge, some environmental stuff like the perspective on life,” Pressman said. “There’s a lot of different things that are in there.”
According to Pressman, planning the annual event and coming up with a theme was a team effort that began as soon as the previous TEDxBU event wrappped up. A team of five student organizers and a staff adviser work together to pick the speakers and plan the event.
“We already had our list of speakers and we try to think of an underlying theme that is catchy, that we think could produce good visuals for graphic design,” Pressman said. “We had a few brainstorming sessions where we threw a couple ideas out there working with our graphic design person.”
This year’s event will also feature an undergraduate student host, something previous TEDxBU events have lacked. Pressman said most high-quality TED events have hosts. According to Pressman, the host will help handle speaker introductions and will allow organizers to focus on running the event.
Winter Clark, a senior double-majoring in philosophy and the individualized major program, was selected by the TEDxBU team to be this year’s student host.
“I’m really looking forward to hosting this event,” Clark wrote in an email. “I’ll have the opportunity to introduce some very talented and smart individuals at this event! I also know that on the day of the actual event, there is especially high pressure on the entire TEDx team. Having a host allows them to focus on making the event as successful as ever, and I’m excited to help make that happen.”
Changes will also be made to allow more audience engagement throughout the talks. This year’s event will use Slido, a free web-based software that allows audience members to type in questions for the speakers and up-vote their favorite questions during the event. Afterward, they will post videos of speakers answering the most up-voted questions.
This year’s event will feature eight speakers and No Strings Attached, a BU a cappella group, as the intermission act. The list of speakers will be available when the team starts selling tickets.
Stone Geise, a senior majoring in biochemistry, was selected by the TEDxBU team to be this year’s student speaker. According to Geise, he wants people to live their lives in ways that benefit them.
“This experience has given me the opportunity to reflect on who I am as a person and what my own beliefs are, and that has also been extremely beneficial in helping to design my talk around what I firmly believe in rather than something not as genuine,” Geise wrote in an email. “The reason I wanted to give this talk in the first place was to help others live their lives in a way that is better for them. I want people to recognize that living your life half-empty is a beneficial way to do so.”
The TEDxBU team will be tabling in the different locations around campus, as well as off campus at the Oakdale Mall and Broome Community College in efforts to get more people to attend the event. Tickets can also be purchased online at BingTickets.
The first 100 tickets sold on campus will be $5 each and come with a complimentary T-shirt. After these tickets are sold, regular ticket prices will go up to $10 each. Tickets at the door of the event will be $15 each.