TEDx talks prove a success

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The College hosted its first TEDx event, “TEDx Middlebury,” this past Saturday, Oct. 2.  The event lasted the whole day, featuring 16 speakers presenting on an enormous variety of topics.
President of the College Ronald D. Liebowitz gave the opening remarks.

“What makes Middlebury distinct is the way in which students share what they learn with each other and how they support one another,” he said. “We share the common belief that we have to deepen and strengthen that.”

Students hear from a wide variety of speakers at Tedx Talks Photo by Andrew Podrygula, Photos Editor

TEDx Middlebury is an innovative way to deepen the connections in our community.  With the help of local sponsors, a team of students and faculty spearheaded by Cloe Shasha ’11 brought 16 speakers and 100 listeners to McCardell Bicentennial Hall for a day of thought-provoking discussion.

TED (Technology, Information, Design) is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission: bring people with great ideas together to share them with the world.   Every year, speakers gather in Long Beach and Oxford to present 18-minute bursts of innovation and inspiration, and their talks are posted online for free viewing.

The TEDx program presents the principles of TED on a smaller scale. While the TED organization provides the framework, TEDx events are largely driven by the local organizers and community. The vast array of TEDx Middlebury speakers, for example, included alumni, professors and parents of current students.

In an introductory video clip, TED curator Chris Anderson expressed his admiration for those who have taken it upon themselves to host TEDx events.  “We’re truly in awe of the passion and dedication they’ve shown to make something like this work,” he said.

Though ticket availability for the event was limited to 100 seats, a live video feed in BiHall allowed ticket-less students, faculty, staff and community  members to listen in.

Check out this year’s talks:

Hello Avatar: Your Networked Life — Beth Coleman

Authentic Patriotism: How They Found It, and Restored a Nation Adrift — Stephen Kiernan ’82

It’s All in the Story — Frank Sesno ’77

Thinking Like an Island — Philip Conkling

Rise of the Amateur Organizers — Michael Silberman ’02

On Being Human — Sierra Crane-Murdoch ’02

Writing with Julia — Alex Prud’homme ’84

Time for Schools to go to Work — Chris Maxey

Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me: Plastic in the World’s Oceans — Anna Cummins

The Place of Wonder: A Giant Pod of Potential — Jessica Riley ’98

Lattice as Lifestyle — Yelizavetta Kofman ’07 and Astri von Arvin Ahlander ’07

Getting Here From There — Sunny Bates