By Lethbridge Herald on January 27, 2020.
The University of Lethbridge hosted their first ever TEDxULeth event to a sold-out audience of viewers looking for new insight and inspiration from local speakers throughout the community.
Throughout the day, 10 speakers shared their stories of career failure and success, along with personal stories of struggle and growth to resonate with viewers in the audience, with a message in mind. The point of the series is to give a platform for people who don’t usually get one, highlighting the theme of “I am Still Learning.”
“We have a TEDx university licence, so with that it is designed to provide a platform with people who might not usually get one,” says Imogen Pohl, organizer and undergraduate student.
“At this event in particular, you aren’t going to be seeing a professor who you never see in class because they are out every other week for a conference, it is meant to give a voice to those who may not usually receive them.”
Presenters through the day included Sandra Lamouche, Jeffrey MacCormack, LaRae Smith, Brandy Old, Uriel Karewa, Trisha Gilbert, Eric Chang, Shandi Bleiken, Rosie Costen, Robbin Derry and Saga Darnell. Organizers say the speakers did a great job at showing the diversity in people, topics and opportunities found around southern Alberta and the university.
“They have done an outstanding job and they have been so diverse,” says Kathleen Massey, Associate Vice President, Student.
“We’ve had Sandra, who is a Cree mother, educator and also a hoop dance, but we have also had a stuttering professor talking about his experience learning to prepare for the classroom and be a role model of resilience for students, and a neuroscience student who told his story, so it has been a broad array of ideas, personal stories, and a beautiful opportunity to learn from other people.”
The event was sold out, but the opportunity to take it in was still offered through viewing parties throughout the city, such as Tecconnect and The Zoo.
The TEDxULeth event was also streamed online, which helped some of the participants, who are immigrants to Canada, allow their families to view their work around the world.
Planning TEDxULeth wasn’t an easy task for organizers and their committee of volunteers. After over a year in the works, and over 100 applications, the team narrowed the list down to 10 speakers they felt fit the theme and had a good message to share.
“This was a long process, this started in October 2018, there was a bit of a bump in the road due to personal circumstances, so there was a delay in planning,” says Pohl. “But trying to get the speakers was amazing, we had 109 applications and had to boil it down to 10 talks, so it was a lot of auditioning and quick meetings, the speakers are so lovely to be working with us, with all of the last-minute deadlines that we were giving them, but it was quite a process to get this event going.”
Organizers of the first TEDxULeth event are very thankful for the presenters who shared their stories of experience, and to all of the people who lent a hand to make the event happen. With the success of the first event, the university is looking into bringing TEDxULeth back to campus in the future.
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