Pittsburg State University is accepting applications for presentation proposals for its second TEDx event to be held on March 26 in the Bicknell Center.
Applications are due Feb. 8 and auditions will be held the week of Feb. 11 to be judged. PSU director of community engagement, Sydney Anselmi, and technology and workforce learning Professor, Mark Johnson, are organizing the event after the success of last year’s inaugural event spearheaded by PSU graduate Courtney Blankenship.
“It was excitement,” Johnson said. “People were in a buzz. You present about half of them, you have a break, hors d’oeuvres, and watch the chatter and discussion about, ‘Hey, did you see that? Did you hear that? Oh my gosh, wow!’ and then we come back in and watch the second half. Excitement all around.”
The event featured a diverse lineup of 10 speakers, including such names as co-founder of KC STEMinists, Ruby Rios, chief of Carthage Police Department, Greg Dagnan, and PSU assistant director of Student Diversity Programs, Harold Wallace III. Proud of the work that had been done, Pitt State organizers quickly began working on the next one.
“It kind of began as soon as the first event ended,” Anselmi said. “We took what worked, the pros and cons, the things that went really well, the things that could have been improved in the first event and started talking and planning with Student Government Association to make sure that it happened a second year.”
Through this event, Anselmi want to prove that bigger does not always mean better and greatness can start small.
“For me, the biggest thing is to realize that big ideas can come from small places too. We think of New York, Chicago, (and) California, as these places where the big ideas, the big things happen but that’s not necessarily true. We can do big things here and we have big ideas.”
While still bringing in a wide array of different ideas and ways of thinking, Ansemi and Johnson want the event to focus more on the community to showcase how innovative the people of Pittsburg really are.
“This year’s theme is community collaboration, and so we thought about topics that are not the typical ‘Let’s get together and meet’ topic, but instead talk about an issue,” Johnson said. “Maybe a societal issue we need to talk about that we really haven’t addressed, or we haven’t come together in inventive ways that can tackle the problem like we’ve done in the past that would include different factions coming together and collaborating to solve that. Maybe it’s a perspective of getting them to focus on delivering unique and new ways for us to think about things in a new perspective.”
Above all, Johnson hopes everyone involved in the event will walk away with something new.
“We want this to be transformational, a positive experience,” he said. “To see a new idea, to get a new perspective, able to see from a different way. We hope this is not only transformational for the presenters, but for all who attend as well.”