TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida initiative takes off

A bold interest thread caught students’ attention a few weeks ago. The email, sent by second-year transfer Heath Hawkins, advertised a new initiative planned for April 24, 2016 – TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida.

Since I transferred here in Fall 2014, I realized how much collective genius and creativity exists at New College,” Hawkins said in an email interview. “However, there are few vehicles that bring individuals together to further that ingenuity. I saw this as the reason why universities like MIT & Harvard excel at producing outstanding breakthroughs and ideas. It’s not about having the most intellectually outstanding students in the world, it’s about having a system in place to spark that collective genius and present opportunities for innovation.”

TED (which stands for technology, entertainment and design) is a non-profit organization hosted on the Internet. The organization’s talks garnered more than 100 million views by 2009 and have featured academics, artists and students, just to name a few.

“TEDx, on the other hand, is an extension of TED that is independently organized and features the unique perspective of certain communities or universities,” Hawkins said. “The theme of TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida will be decided by the organization.”

Hawkins spent months submitting applications after finally receiving a TEDx license to organize TEDxNewCollegeofFlorida – the first of its kind on campus. Hawkins will be the creative director of the event.

“I will be spearheading the creative direction of the event – overseeing the design process, networking, working with speakers and organizers, etc.,” Hawkins said. “However, I am very intent on the organization being decentralized, with decisions emerging from the group rather than some select group of individuals.” There will be no hierarchies involved.

Hawkins encouraged interested students to reach out. Send Hawkins an email to receive updates on when organization celebrations – instead of meetings because “meetings are boring and not fun for anyone” – will be held. Organization celebrations will begin this module.

The interest email asks for individuals to help organize and to speak. No solidified talk idea is needed at the moment.

“This means that YOU have the life-changing opportunity to be one of those people on TEDxTalks,” the email emphasized. “Let’s do this thing and show literally anyone with the Internet what New College is all about.”

The first celebration will be held at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Four Winds Cafe.

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