News | May 08, 2015

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Students, faculty talk ideas at TEDxFGCU

Faculty and students shared some “ideas worth spreading” during TEDxFGCU, an event streamed and recorded for online replay on March 19 at WGCU Public Media studios.

“A Crash Course in Changing the World,” “Ponds of Southwest Florida: Ticking Time Bombs” and “Killing the Textbook” were among the thought-provoking topics discussed by the eight speakers chosen to present at TEDxFGCU.

TED is a nonprofit organization (slogan: “Ideas worth spreading”) that started in 1984 as an international conference centered on technology, entertainment and design — or TED. Since then, its scope has broadened to include TEDx programs, which are independently planned local events, and TEDTalks, online videos of the programs. The latter is a sort of digital clearinghouse of free knowledge and inspiration from innovative thinkers such as Apple founder Steve Jobs (“How to Live Before You Die”), “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert (“Nurturing Creativity”) and motivational speaker Tony Robbins (“Why We Do What We Do”).

Often used in classrooms, the 10- to 20-minute videos are effective at reaching today’s tech-savvy students. Besides technology, entertainment and design, topics can include business, science and global issues. The university held its first TEDxFGCU in 2011.

Megan Shindler, a sophomore in the Honors Program who’s majoring in political science and theater, spoke about her efforts to use the arts for social justice. Theater artists are more than entertainers, she says, they are historians, educators and agents for change. She unveiled a new human-rights initiative she’s calling “S(he) Will Fade,” which aims to promote activism against sexual violence and for reproductive rights. (More information is available at facebook.com/dontletherfade or shewillfade.tumblr.com.)

“Sharing my artistic vision on the TEDx stage was a dream come true,” Shindler says. “The whole room was emanating with the passion and intelligence of the individuals who spoke before me, and I feel blessed to have been able to share that space with them. I strongly support the mission of TED to share innovative intellectual property.”

Seven additional videos from TEDxFGCU 2015 will be posted on 360 individually. They also can be viewed on YouTube by searching “TEDxFGCU.”