SARAH BELL | Courtesy Graphic

TEDx shares ideas worth spreading

Written by Esther Bristol

TEDxRexburg will be hosted on Dec. 5 from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Romance Theater in Rexburg.

The theme for this event will be The Quest for Excellence, and several local speakers will present to the audience using this theme.

“Launched in 2009, TEDx is a program of locally organized events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience,” said Cira Fear, an event coordinator and a senior studying communication. “Some of the best talks from TEDx events have gone on to be featured on and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe.”

Speakers will include Nathan Gwilliam, CEO and Founder of Elevati and; Geoff Thomas, the Superintendent of Madison School District; Andra Hansen, founder of Common Ground of Southeast Idaho and a communication faculty member at BYU-Idaho; and Bill Crawford, a business management faculty member at BYU-I, according to TEDxRexburg.

“I’ve been a big fan of TED talks, and so I am excited, and nervous, about this opportunity,” Thomas said.

Gracie Marsden, a student at BYU-I, will also be speaking at TEDxRexburg.

“She participated at I-Talk, and one of her professors is on our board, and we felt that she would be a great addition to our event,” said Sarah Bell, an event coordinator for TEDxRexburg and a senior studying communication.

Gwilliam said learning to think effectively is an important aspect of education, and TEDx events help to expose students to new ideas.

“I want to give people the tools to more effectively realize their most important goals, such as having a more loving marriage, helping our children reach their potential, growing a more successful business or making a larger contribution for good in the world,” Gwilliam said.

Gwilliam said he is looking forward to hearing the other speakers.

“TED topics are almost always enlightening; thus, students may benefit from new ideas and concepts,” Thomas said.

Bell said part of the TEDx experience is networking.

“Networking at this event is going to be a great way for students to build opportunities for professional contacts, for informational interviews down the road, or even internships,” Bell said.

Both Bell and Fear are involved with the TEDx event through their senior projects at BYU-I.

“Former students spearheaded this by getting TEDx in Rexburg earlier this year,” Fear said. “I took over in April with another student to form a more community based board that would be able to continue this on after we left the area.”

Bell said as a way to involve the community more, the board partnered with Madison School District and Madison Memorial Hospital.

“The community has rallied behind this with a planning board and local organizations helping to make the event possible,” according to the TEDxRexburg press release.

Fear said the process was time consuming and that she has been working on it since April of this year in order for it to be ready in December.

“In order to be able to use the TEDx name, there are certain things you must follow in regards to how the event is run, the advertising, speakers and sponsors,” Fear said. “The vision is that we will be able to offer this once in a lifetime opportunity to as many students and community members as possible through regular events.”

Bell said she did not know just anyone could host a TEDx event.

“I had no idea,” Bell said. “It’s really interesting how much TED cares about having everyone have the opportunity to share their voice and their ideas.”

Bell said she thinks it is fun to go to TED talks.

“It’s a nationally-recognized thing, or international thing,” Bell said. “And it’s really cool to be a part of something  that big.”

Tickets for 100 seats went on sale Nov. 9 and cost $20.

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