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Speakers gave messages on the topic of inspiration at TEDxRexburg Saturday night, and, in one case, a message of villainy.

TEDxRexburg brought members of the community together to listen to eight speakers share ideas, projects or messages they are passionate about.

“The TEDxRexburg event was very insightful and exciting,” said Siearra Rowlan, a junior studying psychology. “They used videos from TED conferences and had local speakers around the community who have become successful in their own ways.”

Speakers included MichaelBrent Collings, Emily Curtis, Layne Kurtamus, Ryan Harris, Preston Pugmire, Carol Sevy, Jennifer Saunders and Stuart Draper.

Although each speaker delivered a different message, the overall theme was the same.

“They taught us how to be what we want to be and helped influence us to be the best we can be,” Rowlan said.

According to his website, Written Insomnia, Collings is a bestselling horror writer and screenwriter.

“He has been working with words for over two decades, and for the last ten years has provided writing assistance to more people than he can remember,” according to Collings’ website, Written Insomnia.

Collings was the opening speaker. His speech titled Confessions of a Super-Villian: The Psychosis of Lies aimed at why he believes we are all superheroes in our own way. Simply getting out of bed can make you a superhero.

“I hope they are entertained, because that means I did my job competently,” Collings said. “I hope they learn something, and it changes them for the better because that means I did my job well.”

Collings continues to share his message with people despite struggles with mental illnesses.

“I look forward to sharing my message of villainy with them,” Collings said.

Rexburg was appealing to Collings as a place to give a TEDx talk.

“I actually got invites to talk to several different TEDx groups this year,” Collings said, “and chose Rexburg specifically because their videos are high quality, their audiences engaged, and let’s face it, it gave me a chance to do a mini road trip, which is something I always love.”

An event like TEDx coming to Rexburg establishes an opportunity for students and community members to learn and grow.

“TED’s main theme is ideas worth spreading,” BYU-Idaho communication professor Eric Embree said. “As students that’s what we’re looking for. Information is easy to come by. Ideas that spark people’s imaginations and make people think in different ways than what they had before, that move you to action or to do things that you never considered. That’s much more rare.”

For Embree, TEDx brings a unique opportunity: a way to change yourself and the people around you.

“In many ways, TED is not just an opportunity to sit and listen to speeches,” Embree said. “But it’s an opportunity to engage with interesting new ideas. Somebody who does this has the opportunity to walk away changed. They have the opportunity to walk away a different person than they were when they walked in.”

TEDxRexburg is an annual event. Learn how to become the next TEDxRexburg speaker. Photos and video can be found on their website as well as information on how to get involved.


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