For those of you that don’t know, TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. This year, TED will be coming to St Andrews via the TEDx* conference “to the next 600…” organized by Kian Schreiber and Jon Jachimowicz. I had the pleasure of sitting down with these lovely gentlemen to discuss the plans for the conference.
From the moment they started telling me about the conference, it was clear how passionate they are about the ideals behind TED and their vision for this conference. They emphasized that TEDx St Andrews is about the community coming together and celebrating the chance for all of St Andrews to shine. The event will focus on innovation, discovery, and success, which is shown in their speaker choice. Among this year’s high calibre speakers are Max Foster (CNN International News Anchor and Royal Correspondent), Professor Sunetra Gupta (award-winning novelist, essayist, and scientist), Gavin Oattes (UK comedian and founder of Tree of Knowledge), Andy Pag (pioneer in sustainable travel), and Henrik Scharfe (ground-breaking inventor and 2012 TIME 100 Most Influential People List). Additionally, Louise Richardson, Dr. Ian Bradley, and Dr. Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti from the University will be speaking on ‘Terrorism at St Andrews’, ‘You’ve got to have a dream – the spiritual message of musical theatre’, and ‘Why should we start taking indigenous world-views seriously’ respectively. There will also be two student speakers from the University.
Within the theme ‘to the next 600 years’, the summit aims to combine TED and St Andrews by “trying to take the values that TED upholds and believes is important for the conference to embellish and combining that with St Andrews’ unique values and unique history and knowledge and people” which is reflected in the logo and stage design by Emma Raventos. She has incorporated golf and the University and “interpreted them in a very fun way”. The committee have worked very hard to ensure that the conference is accessible to everyone. Jachimowicz highlighted that the conference is a “student organized, community attended” event, with about 20-25% of tickets going to the general public. “We’re most excited about the entire conference, to see how it all fits together.”
Looking forward, Schreiber and Jachimowicz hope that next year, the conference will grow and include events throughout the year leading up to the conference.
For ticket information and student pricing, email TEDx@st-andrews.ac.uk
*x = independently organized TED event. Communities, organizations, and individuals are given the opportunity to independently plan and coordinate events with the aim of stimulating dialogue through TED-like experiences at a local level. They receive funding and resources from TED.