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Dal meets TED

TEDx Talk coming to Dal in March

TEDx will be at Dal in 2012. From TEDxTrondheim’s Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.
TEDx will be at Dal in 2012. From TEDxTrondheim’s Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

On March 11, 2012 TED Talk will be coming to Dalhousie University—and it’s up to students to decide who will be taking the stage.

As it says on their website, TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and the talks feature people from a variety of backgrounds with interesting ideas to share with the world through on-stage conferences.

Students at Dal have very diverse opinions of who they want to see at the TED Talk. Several students suggested a few less-than-local icons, but many would prefer to hear from one of Dalhousie’s own.

“I would love to see someone like Boris Worm [a biology professor at Dal] do a TED Talk,” says Robyn Pirie, a marine biology student at Dal.

“I was watching a talk the other day, and was thinking Hal Whitehead [another biology professor at Dal] or Boris Worm would have actually done a better job,” says Mariel McLeod, a sustainability student at Dal.

In an online discussion, sustainability student Emily Beattie suggested Steve Mannel, director of the college of sustainability, and Claire Campbell from both the history and sustainability departments.

There were also a few suggestions of personalities from beyond Dal campus. Among a group of environmental ethics students, David Suzuki was a popular nominee, and one English student suggested that Stephen King might present an interesting discussion for Dal’s writers.

Greig Oldford is the organizer for the TEDx event at Dal. “The enthusiasm has been incredibly encouraging,” says Oldford. “Students are eager to help.”

The Dalhousie Student Union is also playing a big part in the organization of the event. Oldford described the ensemble as a diverse and experienced group of event-planners.

The talks are to be held in the McInnes Room of the SUB . Oldford says that the room  has a great venue and technical support staff. “We have sponsors and partners that help make it a world-class TED experience,” he says.

Live speakers, net-working opportunities and musical theatre performances will be presented to the audience and streamed live on the Internet. No speaker will be holding the stage for more than 18 minutes, in order to keep the speakers flowing and the discussions to the point.

Oldford says that the TED events are great for communicating ideas and innovations. He says they allow for opportunity to spark discussion and change. “I feel it’s important to celebrate our incredible diversity of thought and to spread ideas that could change the world.” He says it’s easy to forget about some of the remarkable thinkers and doers on our campus and in our city.

For information on becoming a volunteer for the TED event at Dal, sign up through their website: TEDxHalifax.ca

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