TEDx is an organization dedicated to sharing innovative ideas with a diverse audience. It communicates ideas through short lectures and creates an open space for honest discussions. Geneseo has its own TEDx organization with an editorial board led by students.
Biology major senior Simran Singh is Geneseo’s TEDx organizer and has been for the past two years.
“TED is kind of an umbrella organization, and it has different parts to it. The ‘x’ in TEDx stands for ‘independently organized TED event,’” Singh said. “While we embody the message of TED as well as the rules and regulations that TED gives us, we form independent TED events at different locations. We’re TEDxSUNYGeneseo, so we hold our events at SUNY Geneseo. We bring in our own speakers and give them a platform where they can share their own unique ideas.”
Every year, the organization has one big, school-wide event where speakers are featured from both the college community and around the country. To add a creative lens and simplify the speaker selection process, each TEDx event has a theme.
“We always have a theme, and it’s supposed to be simplistic so we can attract speakers from all different backgrounds. This year, the theme is ‘ConnecTED,’ Singh said. “We have different speakers: two who are more health-care oriented, Lee Pierce from the communication department and one more speaker who is coming in from Long Island. Plus, we have a student speaker competition every year, so a student will be speaking at the event.”
As the main organizer of the event for the last two years, Singh acknowledged the components of the club that intrigue her the most. Unlike traditional teaching models that intend to help students learn, TED talks are more interesting and relatable since they communicate through stories and life experiences.
“The whole idea of ‘ideas worth spreading’—the overall message of TED—really speaks to me because I think that the main way that people learn is through storytelling,” Singh said. “If you’re just reading from a textbook, you’re not going to get much out of it, compared to someone telling you about their experience and what they’ve learned based off of that. [I like that TEDx] brings conversations to light through campus that you only learn about through lectures.”
Students are highly encouraged to attend the TEDx event on Saturday Feb. 23, especially to get involved in critical and analytical thinking and to learn from educated individuals at Geneseo and beyond.