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TEDx event looks to make splash at UW-River Falls

March 11, 2015

The worldwide Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Talks are coming to UW-River Falls this spring for the first time ever.

This particular event will be a “TEDx” event. TED Talks have been known to be used in classrooms everywhere, including some classrooms here at UWRF. A TEDx event is a smaller TED event for small venues such as the city of River Falls.

TEDx will be held on Saturday, April 11. Each speaker will be given 18 minutes to speak on their subjects and will be filmed to be uploaded to the TED website.

Student Senate President Anthony Sumnicht spoke on how UWRF started pursuing the event and how the TEDx event came to be.

“Student Senate has been involved with setting up a TED event for a while now, we actually allocated some funding to get some start-up funds for the TEDx conference, so that is how I am seeing this project through,” Sumnicht said. “To run a TEDx event, a member of the university must attend a TED conference, and there are only a few in the world each year so we flew a representative from Student Life to get the licensing.”

Sumnicht also spoke of how this event, which is $5 to register for, is perfect for a university looking to keep costs down,

“The great thing about TED is that you are not allowed to give your speakers any money to speak.” Said Sumnicht. “We can pay them for their lodging or their travel cost, but you cannot pay them in any way other than accommodate them while they are here.”

The TEDx event will host some members of the university community, alumni, speakers from all over the country and even some speakers from outside the country, and well as musical performances. The list of speakers will be gradually announced by Student Life, according to director of Student Life Paul Shepherd. As of March 11, seven speakers are listed on the UWRF TEDx website.

“We would like to stick with this format, theoretically if we want to make this an annual thing, we would have to reapply for the license every year, but there would be less requirements because we would have already of put on a TED event here once,” Shepherd said. “Another piece that interests us in Student Life is the fact that these talks will be filmed and can be viewed at a later time, so if you are busy and cannot attend you can view these talks at a later time.”

This TEDx event can hold up to 300 people. Registration has already begun, and Student Life expects that the event will fill up quicker as the speakers and musical performers are announced.

The event will be held in the University Center Riverview Ballroom, as well as a TEDx lounge which will be in the Involvement Center. A TEDx performance area will be in the Falcons Nest where any musical guest will be performing. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and will run throughout the day.