On April 14, 2012, RJI played host to TEDxMU, the Mizzou campus’ first independently organized version of TED, the global set of conferences formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading." Featuring a diverse lineup of speakers, the day-long event offered a spectrum of topics that were selected from more than 60 prospective presenters.
Just as the presenters had to compete for an opportunity to present, attendees also had to apply to attend. More than 300 applicants expressed desire to be in the TEDxMU audience which, by the event’s license from TED, was limited to 100 people. The selected attendees who packed the Fred W. Smith Forum represented a diverse cross section of the local community. Those afforded the occasion to attend were told they had been chosen based on their capacity to share the TEDx experience with others.
Through out the course of the TEDxMU event, presenters shared their insights into an eclectic and varied range of topics including life science research, teaching entrepreneurship, tackling global media bias, reverse engineering innovation, and one’s individual role in the collaborative process. Attendees were treated to a personal account of space flight and were even engaged in a live sing-along of U2’s “Elevation.”
Curated and organized by MU students, the event brought together a collection of resources from across the community. “The spirit of TED is contagious. The event pulled together support from Student Life, the Dean of the Trulaske College of Business, the Reynolds Journalism Institute, and the Crosby MBA program. We could not be making all of this progress without their support. TEDxMU itself is truly an example of innovation through collaboration" shared Aamer Tramu, one of the student organizers, an MBA candidate and international journalist. A further example of the collaborative nature of the event was in evidence by the large “TEDxMU” letters used in the event’s staging. They were fabricated by the Stephens College Theatre Department.
The site of the event’s lunch gathering, RJI’s Palmer Room as well as the RJI Lobby was enhanced by local fine artist Kate Gray’s multi medium installation exploring the nature of the creative process.
The themes of the TEDxMU speakers were threaded together by the event’s master of ceremony Keith Politte, manager of the RJI Tech Testing Center, who also served as an advisor to the student organizers. Plans are already underway for more local TEDx events. Cale Sears, another student organizer and a freshman pre-journalism student, was recently qualified to apply for event licenses for more than 100 attendees.
Videos from the event have been posted to TEDxMU’s YouTube page, where they will be evaluated for inclusion into the main TED content channel.
Cale Sears and Keith Politte
Jack Schultz: More about Jack
Karl Kochendorfer: More about Karl
Tim Miles: More about Tim
Linda Godwin: More about Linda
Jim Spencer: More about Jim
Dan Oshinsky: More about Dan
Wade Foster: More about Wade
Francesco Marconi: More about Francesco
Amanda Gastler and Mindy Bruning
Emily Eldridge: More about Emily
Doug Pitt: More about Doug
Keith Politte and Curtis Roller