TEDxBYU 2018 aimed to empower students with transformative ideas

Meagan Larsen
James Perry of Studio C speaks to students at TEDxBYU on March 23, 2017. The Ballard Center will host this year’s TEDxBYU on March 22. (Meagan Larsen)

This year’s TEDxBYU will be held on March 22, boasting talks on topics from cryptocurrency to storytelling and education reform, according to Ballard Center External Communications Director Alicia Gettys.

TEDxBYU is an independent TED event organized through the Ballard Center. This event is extremely popular among students, with tickets last year selling out within five minutes of being released, according to Ballard Center External Communications Director Alicia Gettys.

Tickets for this year’s event go on sale at 8 a.m. on March 1.

Gettys said she believes this event is so popular among students because it is empowering and helps those who attend to see the world in a new light.

“Just like the Olympics celebrate human achievement, we get to see accomplishment at TEDxBYU in a different capacity,” Gettys said. “Some speakers will inspire you by the perseverance it took to invent new innovations. Others will empower you with new life transforming ideas.”

A committee at the Ballard Center selects the topics its members feel are important for the BYU community and then finds the best experts to present on those topics.

“After these thought leaders accept this unpaid speaking opportunity, they spend months receiving coaching and cramming their expertise into a 12-minute talk — not an easy task,” Gettys said.

Marissa Getts spoke at last year’s TEDxBYU. She was selected to speak after participating in an internship through the Ballard Center with Ashoka Youth Venture. Getts and another intern spoke about how one can help children become change-makers.

“We wanted to share our findings that empathy was the first step to helping children make positive social change and that adults also needed to let their children try to create change by creating clubs or volunteering or reaching out in ways that parents might not be used to,” Getts said.

Getts said she wanted to share her research in a way that would inspire parents to help their children develop empathy, take chances to learn and make a positive social impact in the world.

“Giving a TEDtalk was one of the seemingly out-of-reach items on my bucket list, and my involvement with the Ballard Center was the only way that I was able to have an experience that was worthy to speak about in a TEDtalk,” Getts said.

This year’s lineup of speakers includes Alex Bernadotte, founder and CEO of Beyond 12; Aundrea Frahm, a multi-disciplinary artist; Erica Orange, executive vice president and COO at the Future Hunters — a firm that evaluates emerging trends; and Don Rheem, CEO of E3 Solutions.

This event is well loved by many students, including Andrew Cook, a BYU student who attended last year’s event.

“It motivated me to want to find my professional purpose and to throw all of my energy into pursuing that,” Cook said. “I think all of us would love to give our own TED talk someday, right? So for me, the event helped me see people who are successful, humble, driven and compassionate, and I loved all the takeaways I got from each speaker.”

To learn more about TEDxBYU and to purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit the website.

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