Hours before TEDxBinghamtonUniversity, Pipe Dream spoke with Winter Clark, the host of this year’s event and a senior double-majoring in philosophy and the individualized major program. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Pipe Dream: Tell me about yourself.
Winter Clark: I am a senior double-majoring in philosophy and the individualized major program. In terms of involvement on campus, I run a student organization called Transcend for trans and nonbinary people. I’m also involved in Democracy Matters, a student group working to get big money out of politics.
PD: How did you get involved in the event?
WC: Originally, I applied to be the student speaker. Evidently, I didn’t get it, but I’m very excited to hear Stone [Geise’s] talk today. The reason I applied was because I love public speaking, I know they always put on a great event every year and I just wanted to be involved in it in some capacity. So when they reached out to me a few weeks later asking me if I wanted to be the host, I said yes. And I’m just really glad to be here today. I’m really excited about the event. It’s going to be great.
PD: Do you think your leadership positions on campus have helped give you a good grounding as host of the event?
WC: Oh, for sure. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to be a public speaker. It’s something that I’ve come to enjoy and I don’t think that that would have necessarily happened if I was not as involved as I am.
PD: Who are you looking forward to hearing from today?
WC: All of them! We have a really great lineup. The entire event is focused on this idea of sustainability, so in one way or another the talks are related to the idea of doing things in a more sustainable way. I would say that’s a broad theme of why I’m so excited to hear them speak. And they’re from so many different locations, too. We have people from the west coast and somebody from Canada.
PD: Do you watch a lot of TED talks?
WC: Yeah, absolutely. Pretty much everybody who is helping organize this event who I’ve talked to so far, including many of the speakers, watch a lot of TED talks. I think it’s kind of a de facto requirement for being involved with this.
PD: What are you hoping people will take away from the event?
WC: I think the sort of grounding theme of TEDx is ideas worth spreading, so if people leave that room and they’re thinking a little more deeply about their lives or if they’ve got a new idea they’re mulling over, that’s what we’re going for.