What began as a mere idea became a growing reality that will soon reach its fulfillment. Northwestern College will host its first TEDx event on Saturday, March 18 in the Black Box Theater. The event will include a lineup of seven distinguished speakers from a variety of disciplines who will share their thoughts on subjects they are passionate about. Registration will open at 9 a.m., followed by a breakfast provided by the event coordinators. There will be a lunch break after the first round of talks, and the second round of talks should conclude around noon.
Junior Clara Pahl originally had the idea to put together an event that would resemble a TED event, with speakers giving talks on subjects of importance to them. As she was mulling the idea over with someone, she was pushed to not settle for a lesser version of a TED event, but to go for the real thing. Motivated by this, Pahl began to research what it would take to become licensed for a TEDx event and host it on NW’s campus.
With TED’s tagline being “Ideas worth spreading,” it was only fitting that Pahl’s idea to have a TEDx event at NW would grow and spread. She dove into the process of applying for a license to host a TEDx event and assembled a team of individuals to make the event happen. The culmination of this process can be experienced by public audience members who attend on March 18.
According to Pahl, the seminar should be like the thousands of speeches from TED events available online. “The event is an independently organized TED event,” said Pahl. “In other words, whatever videos you have watched, that is exactly what the event will be.” In addition, at the conclusion of each presentation, speakers will have an opportunity to lead a discussion with the audience to help everyone assess their thesis.
This discussion aspect is what especially excites speaker Mike Kugler. “I am most interested in provoking a conversation with an audience,” said Kugler. “I consider scholarship much less about completing a task and collecting the kudos that come with accomplishment. I think more of scholarship as joining an already ongoing interesting discussion and contributing something that pushes it a little in a new direction or offering a novel insight.”
The event is centered on the theme Chiaroscuro, which event host Gideon Fynaardt describes as “a term borrowed from the world of visual art, characterized by a sharp distinction between dark and light.” Pahl believes this concept has the potential to motivate her peers. “It has allowed me to serve my fellow Raiders and inspire them to think critically about how to be a light in life’s darkest moments,” said Pahl.
Since last spring, the individuals involved in coordinating the event spent numerous hours setting the theme and meticulously planning every detail. Fynaardt encourages members of the community to “Take advantage of this rare opportunity and learn from some incredible people you may or may not have had the chance to hear from before.”