Beginning in 2012, but expanding into a much larger event with buzz following the University’s 600th Anniversary, TEDx St Andrews is now back for its fourth edition. Interestingly, this year, the committee has opted “to go without a theme so as to encompass every kind of speaker and every kind of genre of talk”.
As many committee members have grown up watching TED talks in school, the fact that St Andrews is hosting its very own series of talks and bringing in speakers to talk about a variety of topics is definitely an exciting prospect. The sentiment seems to be shared amongst St Andreans, as both the tickets for the talk and the live streaming have been sold out for this year’s event.
As an organization, TEDx strives to “spread ideas and encourage innovative, intellectual discourse.” The 2015 speakers’ list certainly encompasses this goal. The speakers’ list includes New York Times journalist, Roger Cohen. In the span of his career, Cohen, has won multiple awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Furthermore, he has adopted an international outlook to his approach to journalism, having worked as a foreign correspondent in 15 different countries.
Another speaker who will be attending the event is Co-founder of Blu-Dot, Darshita Gillies, who went from the proverbial rags to riches. She is now a leadership coach and focuses on instigating social change. TEDx will also be show casing Erling Kagge, the first person to have summited the ‘three poles’ (North, South and the summit of Mount Everest). In addition to his outdoor pursuits, Kagge worked as a lawyer for Norsk Hydro and read philosophy at Cambridge.
Although the speakers come from a variety of backgrounds and have interests that lie across a broad range of topics and fields, they are drawn together by what seems to be their tenacity and desire to push themselves beyond their comfort zones – an apt representation of the very essence of TED talks, as well as spirit of the town of St Andrews.
This year’s Tedx has a diverse range of sponsors: Forgans, Accenture, Rocca Bar and Grill and finally, the University. All in all, this event will be much anticipated by the St Andrews community.