The University of Nevada, Reno’s annual TEDxUniversityofNevada event is just around the corner, and I’m so excited!
TEDxUniversityofNevada will take place this January 21st at Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort, moving from last year’s sold-out Pioneer Theater venue to an even bigger theater to accommodate the event’s growth. Did you know that between 2015 and 2016, event attendance grew by 445 percent?
TEDxUniversityofNevada is by far my favorite local event of the year, and it’s clear that I am passionate about this event. But every now and again I run into people who either haven’t heard of TEDx, don’t quite understand what TEDx is, or have never been to a TEDx event. Therefore, please allow me to explain why I feel this event should on everyone’s “must attend” list for 2017!
When I first attended a TEDx event back in 2013 at the University of Nevada, Reno, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was instantly captivated. As the day progressed, I listened to a series of heartfelt stories from such individuals as:
- an ER doctor who organized the trauma unit at one of our local hospitals following a plane crash into the crowd at the Reno Air Races
- a 13-year-old home schooled student who shared his ideas for the education system, in a talk that’s since received over 9 million views online
- a middle school student who started a company because she wanted to save the Amazon, and traveled to Kenya to personally deliver 1,100 LifeStraws to children
- a mother who tragically lost her son due to a nurse’s error
- a social entrepreneur who urged the audience to collectively find simplicity in a world becoming overrun with complexity
- an accomplished youth motivational speaker and non-profit founder whose mission is to spread kindness across the globe
- an inspirational high school student who succeeded in her educational goals, defying numerous odds against her, including abuse
- a physical therapist whose husband suffered a paralyzing accident who went on to accomplish profound and unexpected goals
By the end of the event, I was emotionally exhausted, but filled with inspiration, hope and ideas. If I thought my worldview was broad and inclusive before, my empathy and understanding for others increased tenfold by the day’s end, and the experience pushed me to both do and be something greater.
When taken together, the collective stories shared at a TEDx event constitute a single experience unlike any other. An experience that is not only eye-opening, but enjoyable; uncomfortable at times, but imperative; necessary for growth, but motivating; personally important, yet collectively shared; and always authentic.
Most importantly, each of the talks are tied together by a common theme: to share a big idea worth spreading. When talks (and musical performances) are this sincere and filled with passion, you can fully expect that there’s a good reason why you should be listening. What you choose to do with what you’ve learned following the event is entirely up to you.
Next month, TEDxUniversityofNevada will again offer yet another lineup of incredible speakers and performers who will all be pushed to communicate their most profound ideas, shared in the most imaginative of ways.
While it’s really hard to narrow down a list of those I’m most excited to hear from (because truthfully I’m excited about the potential of every single one of them), below are three speakers that stand out to me personally based on their unique backgrounds:
- Jocko Willink: John “Jocko” Willink is an American podcaster and retired United States Navy SEAL, who received the Silver Star and Bronze Star for his actions in the Iraq War. His podcast was recently rated among Apple’s Best Podcasts of 2016.
- Samina Ali: Award-winning author, curator of internationally acclaimed art exhibition, blogger, popular speaker, and a prominent activist for gender equality. As the co-founder of an American Muslim feminist organization who suffered a near death experience, her talk promises to be filled with surprises.
- Mariana Atencio: In 2008, Mariana fled high crime and Government censorship in Venezuela to accept a full scholarship to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is now a broadcast journalist working for MSNBC and NBC News, who quickly made a name for herself covering the Latino Vote in the 2016 election.
There are going to be so many fantastic speakers and performers; the individuals I noted above are just a few of those whose messages I’m eager to hear. To check out the full list of speakers for yourself, learn more about the event, watch past talks, and purchase tickets (always a great holiday gift idea by the way!) please visit: tedxuniversityofnevada.org.