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TEDxWakeForestU: Defining our future

By Stephanie Skordas Office of Communications and External Relations
Christina Oelsner, Jake Graham and Mari Ishibashi are the lead student organizers for this year's TEDxWakeForestU.
Christina Oelsner, Jake Graham and Mari Ishibashi are the lead student organizers for this year's TEDxWakeForestU.

What will define our future? Will it be our ability to share through social media, our quest to use Google to escape memorization or the impact our consumer society will have on the environment? The highly successful TEDxWakeForestU returns to Wake Forest’s Reynolda campus on Feb. 23 to tackle these topics.

The independently organized event licensed by TED, will be held from 12-5 p.m. in Wait Chapel and is open to the public.

“We are fortunate to have a special agreement with TEDx that allows us to gather an audience of 1,000. Most TEDx events are designed to be small, with around 100 people,” said Jake Graham (’13) one of the lead student organizers for the event. “We were thrilled with the attendance at last year’s event and hope the Piedmont-Triad turns out to hear the inspiring talks about our future.”

Want to know more about TEDxWakeForestU?

Graham and Mari Ishibashi (’13), who were involved with the very first TEDxWakeForestU last year, are joined by Christina Oelsner (’14), the NCIIA student ambassador, and a committee of students and faculty advisors to plan the 2013 TEDxWakeForestU. They have been working behind the scenes for months.

“The success of last year’s event with 1,400 attendees made us want to make this year’s TEDxWakeForestU even better,” said Oelsner. “We can’t wait to share the exciting ideas from these speakers with the community.”

Nine speakers will give TEDx talks, with the event divided into three sections. Unlike a typical lecture on a college campus, TEDx speakers are limited to 18 minutes. This short video explains a little more about this year’s event.

“All our speakers offer thought-provoking ideas and inspiration,” said Polly Black, director of the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest. “Most TED talks are entertaining and highly accessible. They engage the audience and spark interest in new ways of thinking.” Highlights from this year’s schedule include:

  • Ricky Van Veen, an alumnus and entrepreneur who combined his love for comedy and technology to create the highly successful website College Humor in his Wake Forest dorm room. His subject: You Are What You Tweet – How Media Changes in a Social World.
  • Dr. Mark Bauerlein teaches English at Emory University. His latest book, “The Dumbest Generation,” takes the position that cyberculture is turning today’s youth into a society of know-nothings. His subject: Language, Age Segregation and Digital Teens.
  • J. Henry Fair is a photojournalist known for challenging the status quo with his aesthetic yet provocative photos. His project, Industrial Scars, explores the impact of our consumer society on the world around us. His subject: The True Cost of Goods Sold.

Tickets are free to the Wake Forest community, and $10 for the general public. Register now at www.TEDxWakeForestU.com.

The event is sponsored by The Chambers Family Fund, the Office of the President, the Office of the Dean, the Office of the Provost, the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, and the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

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