TEDx returns to University of Glasgow

Nathan Stilwell
TEDxUniversityofGlasgow have revealed that their 2015 conference theme will be “Crossing the Rubicon”, an idiom meaning “to pass the point of no return”. The independently organised TED-style conference will be held at the University of Glasgow in March.

The event will tackle topics such as Glasgow University’s recent divestment from fossil fuels and the role of technology in society, focusing on both Glasgow-based and global issues.

While no information on speakers has been revealed yet, auditions will be held for student speakers early in January. Last year’s student speaker Ben Semple’s poem, titled “My thighs don’t fit my skinny jeans,” is the most viewed University of Glasgow TEDx video on Youtube.

Qihao Shao, the event’s project manager, emphasised that TEDx is about engaging our community, telling the Glasgow Guardian: “TEDx is not just about the day itself, it’s about a lasting impact.”

TEDxUniversityOfGlasgow 2014, which had the theme “connectivity”, featured 10 speakers from across the globe, two of them being student speakers, who talked about a range of issues from social media to youth culture. 100 people attended, the maximum number allowed due to licensing, which meant the event sold out completely. This year TEDx hopes to host a live broadcast of the event to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the talks.

TEDx will also use brand ambassadors and have a much larger presence on campus this year, with over 20 students helping to organise it, compared to only seven in 2014. A launch party will be held in February. Kathryn Stevenson, TEDx’s press officer, commented: “The TEDxGU14 launch party was fantastic, there was a great ambience and the excitement really lasted.”

Qihao Shao claims the success of the TED brand is due to the “inspired procrastination” nature of TED videos: “You can spend hours and hours watching TEDX and while it might not have been what you intended to do, you come out feeling you have learnt something”.

Jirka Pražan, a member of the TEDxGU15 team, commented: “TEDx for me is about broadening horizons and planting seeds of ideas that will hopefully flourish in the future. TEDxGU15 will be a world-class event aiming to do that, and more, and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of it.”


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