August 30, 2019

Apply now to speak at SIU’s inaugural TEDxSIUC event

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Do you believe in the power of change? Do you have ideas about inspiring change? If so, you may want to apply to be a speaker at the inaugural TEDxSIUC event.

Everyone welcome

The self-organized event is an off-shoot of the popular TED talks, and the goal is to assemble speakers from throughout the region who will share their thoughts about change and meaningful action.

Perhaps you’ve had to deal with a problem and found a great way to do so. Or, is there an issue you would like to see addressed?  Maybe you’ve overcome obstacles and learned things in the process. Do you have a humorous view to offer about something happening in the world today? All of these and more could be potential talk subjects.

“Really, the sky is the limit as to possible topics,” Daniel Vega, a senior sociology major, said. “Our platform amplifies powerful ideas and community initiatives from our unique region. At the event, we will feature local speakers and screen TEDTalks videos to spark deep discussions and inspire meaningful action.”

Vega and Alexander Grabowska, event coordinator, are organizing the talk and a new TEDx registered student organization. SIU’s Office of Student Engagement is co-sponsoring this idea conference.

Planning and speaker selection is now underway for the event, planned for 2-6 p.m. on Jan. 25.

Format includes taping

The event will feature a wide variety of speakers as well as videos. The theme is “The Power of Change.” Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to apply to speak. Anyone under the age of 18 will need parental permission in order to speak.

There are few real perimeters for topics and they can include everything from inspirational ideas to academic matters, from climate change and other global issues to local problems. Speakers can be creative as well, utilizing PowerPoint presentations, pictures, art or various other appropriate props.

Politics, religion, pseudoscience, divisive/inflammatory presentations are prohibited though, as are sales/promotional presentations. Rather, the idea is to get people talking and sharing ideas on the designated topic.

Each carefully prepared presentation will be no more than 18 minutes in length. The audience size is limited to 100 people but there will also be a simulcast for up to 100 attendees and the presentations will be taped and posted online.

Apply now

Applications now being accepted for the event and the submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 9. 

Organizers will screen all applications and select a diverse group that fits within the event theme and schedule.

After the speakers are selected, rehearsals will be held to fine-tune the presentations.

Apply online or find additional information at For answers to specific questions, email or call 618/453-5714. Connect with TEDxSIUC on LinkedIn.

Additional details about the inaugural TEDxSIUC event will be announced in coming months. A diverse audience is anticipated, with many SIU students included.

Vega said the goal is to have the new RSO sponsor a major annual event like this, along with additional mini-events.