Annual TEDxBYU to share new ideas

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Marcos Escalona
Attendants take their seats in the Covey Center for the Arts to prepare for the 2016 TEDxBYU event. (Marcos Escalona)

TEDxBYU speakers will educate over 600 attendees on a variety of topics during the Ballard Center’s 8th annual event.

The event will be held on March 23 at the Covey Center for the Arts.

TEDxBYU is an independently organized event with speeches that express innovative ideas, similar to TED talks. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, according to the official TED website.

The TEDxBYU speakers’ topics will range from cancer research to human rights, according to Alicia Gettys, the Communication and Operations Director for the Ballard Center.

Industrial design student and Ballard Center employee, Alison Brand, said TEDxBYU is different than normal TED talks because the event revolves around the BYU audience.

“(The event) is created and curated for an experience associated with BYU,” Brand said.
“There’s a certain relevance that’s different because it’s TEDxBYU.”

She said TEDxBYU is special and impactful because of the ideas the speakers bring to the event.

“The speakers always come from diverse, different backgrounds, but are very passionate about what their speaking about,” Brand said.

She also said the diversity of the speakers allows BYU students and other attendants to be exposed to ideas that are new to them.

“As a member of the audience, you get infused with a little bit of the passion from all these very different backgrounds,” Brand said. “It’s cool to think about things you’ve never thought of before.”

Brand will speak with Marissa Getts at the event about fostering empathy in youth.

Linguistics student Kaha’i Fa’alafua said he watches a lot of TED talks in one of his classes at BYU. He said he enjoys and respects events that encourage different and new ideas.

“Being cultured is very important,” Fa’alafua said.

The speakers for the event are chosen by the Ballard Center’s board of directors. The board selects about 10 concepts and finds speakers based on those themes, according to Gettys.

“(We) think about the topics that we think would be pertinent to our community, and then go seek speakers who fit those topics,” Gettys said.

Bios for the speakers and other information can be found on the TEDxBYU website.

The event is sold out, but videos of the event and the individual speeches will be available online a few weeks after the event for those who cannot attend.

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