Students are hosting a TEDx event at Royal Roads University this Saturday. (Image contributed)

Royal Roads students host their own TED Talk

TEDx event organizers hope to inspire

A place of knowledge and learning has inspired more than its share of great minds and that is exactly what TED Talks are all about.

Operating on mantra of “ideas worth spreading” TED Talks are events where a speaker gives a presentation meant to inspire and inform. This Saturday, Royal Roads University in Colwood will be taken over for a similar concept through TEDx – a program of local, self-organized events, meant to bring people together.

“We were inspired by a lot of stuff on campus,” said Kyle Ingram, one of the co-organizers of the student driven event.

He noted a number of the university’s teachers are associate professors, meaning they teach one class a year and spend the rest of their time working on their own projects and passions. The hope is that this event will highlight some of that work and inspire others.

With that in mind, the theme of TEDxRoyalRoadsU is “Reinvent: inspiring people to reinvent themselves through learning and innovation.”

While Ingram noted they were initially stumped for a theme, the idea of transformation stuck and they wanted the perfect phrase to sum it up.

“It’s really appropriate,” he said, adding even the university’s grounds have a long history of transformation.

While it is the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish people, including the Esquimalt and Songhees nations, the site has also served as a private residence for the Dunsmuir family, a military college and is now a public university. “People are coming here to reinvent themselves,” he said.

Originally organizers just approached friends and colleagues but the event started growing and soon they had upwards of 60 people interested in giving a talk.

That list has been narrowed down to roughly a dozen, with Saturday’s schedule set to run from 1 to 6 p.m.

While the event is limited to 100 attendees and is invite only, there is a live webstream available for those that want to get in on the action.

“We wanted to find ways to engage more people,” Ingram said.

“The livestream will have this extra piece.” Hosted on a Victoria-built platform, an intermission break will allow those on the livestream to ask their own questions of presenters, allowing even more interaction and participation.

Meanwhile, those physically in attendance will be encouraged to use the break to explore innovation alley, a place where they can share ideas, find inspiration and continue building on topics of discussion.

“The experience doesn’t just end at the door … and that was one of our goals,” Ingram noted. “I think everybody can relate to at least one TED Talk.”

For more information on this event and the speakers or to join the livestream on Saturday, go to tedxroyalroadsu.ca.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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