TEDxVirginiaTech announces 2016 theme of 'Spark,' seeks speaker nominations
April 5, 2016
In its fifth year, TEDxVirginiaTech 2016 will focus on the theme of “Spark,” as in the moment of inspiration that sets one on course to research a certain topic, question a set norm, create or perform a piece of art, or start a journey. The TEDxVirginiaTech committee invites university faculty, staff, students, alumni, and New River Valley community members to submit nominations for speakers.
Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Deadline for submissions is April 22. The committee is especially interested in making the talks as diverse as possible, both culturally and by topic.
As with years’ past such as “Beyond Boundaries" and “Illumination,” the broad theme is meant to inspire multidisciplinary and transformative ideas in line with the principles of TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. Questions to consider in selecting speakers and topics include:
• How can interdisciplinary collaborations spark new discoveries and creativity?
• How does going beyond our disciplinary boundaries spark stimulate new research?
• What encourages us to go beyond the ordinary?
• How can we implement more creativity into our lives?
• How does service foster community and growth?
• How do the arts enrich our lives?
• What events inspire us to do more?
• How do complex problems challenge us to think in new ways?
“Spark captures the moment when vision gives way to action, when difference coalesces into energy to solve complex social, cultural, and personal, as well as economic, scientific, and strategic problems,” said Peter Doolittle, director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research and a member of the TEDxVirginiaTech organizing committee. “As a global land-grant research-based university, Virginia Tech is uniquely positioned to move beyond boundaries; to collaborate, integrate, and synthesize across frontiers; and, to instigate, generate, and employ pioneering research for the benefit of humankind. TEDxVirginiaTech Spark will highlight the exciting ways in which Virginia Tech is having an impact -- personally, locally, and globally.”
Nominations will be accepted at the TEDxVirginiaTech website until April 22, with a short list of prospective speakers being invited to pitch their talks to selection committees in May.
Final speakers will be publicly announced in August.
Nominations should include: the potential speaker’s name, affiliation with Virginia Tech, email address, description of idea worth spreading, how the idea relates to the event theme, and information about why the nominee is a credible speaker. Video submissions are encouraged.
Speakers at the event will be allotted up to 15 minutes to address a topic that has broad appeal, relates to the event’s theme, and is an idea worth spreading -- a central principle held by the nonprofit organization. Dynamic, highly visual presentations coupled with a storytelling speaking style are encouraged. As with TED guidelines, speakers are disallowed from addressing political and/or religious agendas, or promoting a company, and also precluded from using podiums or notes during their talk.
TEDxVirginiaTech talks will be streamed live online. Talks also will be recorded, and the resulting files will become part of the larger TEDx Talks archive. As a result, allotted times will be enforced. To assist with the requirements of speaking at a TEDx event, speakers will receive mentoring in the development of their presentations and their presentation delivery by the TEDxVirginiaTech steering committee.
More than 800 people attended TEDxVirginiaTech 2015. Previous TEDxVirginiaTech speakers have later spoken at TEDGlobal, been featured on TED.com and in national publications, and received prestigious honors for their work.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan, and Daniel Kahneman.
The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.