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TEDxUND 2018 challenges participants to ‘Dare to…’

| Friday, April 27, 2018

Notre Dame undergraduates, staff members and alumni will present live at TEDxUND 2018 on Saturday at the Patricia George Decio Theater in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. TEDx is a program created by the TED program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

TEDx is not new to Notre Dame — similar conferences organized by the administration took place here in 2014 and 2015 — but this is the first year that the event planning has been spearheaded by students, specifically by juniors Caitlin Murphy and Tim O’Connell, the student government directors of student life.

Both students, after being elected to their student government positions last April, applied for the TED license during the summer and began planning the event once they returned to school. In September, they sent out speaker applications for TEDxUND, O’Connell said.

“We had our TEDx organizing team read through those,” he said. “There was about 125 applications. Our team narrowed those down to 45 people, interviewed 25 and then chose our final 16 who would present.”

“In the interviews, it was us and our advisor, Patrick Gibbons, executive director of academic communications in the provost’s office,” Murphy said. “He was such a huge help to this entire process.”

Despite the long process and a talented pool of applicants, both students said they felt like they chose a diverse background of speakers. Among them are students, alumni, faculty and community members.

While only 400 students received tickets to the event, Murphy said 1,400 students applied for the student ticket lottery. More community tickets were available on the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s website and sold out in about two hours.

Murphy and O’Connell said they hope to follow the original mission of the TED organization while also showcasing ideas, culture and knowledge specific to Notre Dame.

“The mission of the TED organization is to unleash new ideas, inspire and inform,” Murphy said.

The organizers chose the theme “Dare to …” for the event, and each speaker has this theme incorporated into the title of their TED talk.

“Our idea is to start a conversation that is representative of Notre Dame,” O’Connell said. “We have a very diverse pool that we’re pulling many different ideas from. We have a lot of different people on this campus who do a lot of amazing things who you may never meet, but this is an opportunity to start a new conversation.”

The morning TEDxUND 2018 session will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The afternoon session will run from 2 – 4:30 p.m. A TEDxUND livestream will be available in the Duncan Student Center’s Midfield Commons from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


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