The Division of Undergraduate Education was happy to support this year’s TEDxUCIrvine event. Held at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Samueli Theater, a full house gathered to listen and learn from experts about Core Conversations.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At the University of California, Irvine, students have formed a group called TEDxUCIrvine, where x = independently organized TED event. The student organization is very popular on campus with many volunteers, and they have successfully put on large scale speaking event for the past five years.

The 2016 annual event themed At the Core, celebrated the fundamental visions and values shared at UC Irvine. The organizers chose this theme in hopes of gathering speakers who could empower the audience to grow as a more compassionate, curious, and creative community.

With a call for applications both on and off campus, TEDxUCIrvine found nine brilliant speakers, who all gave thought-provoking talks that sparked core conversations well beyond the May 14th event.  

At TEDxUCIrvine events, like At The Core, TED videos and live speakers combine to create deep discussion and connection among the attendees. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, like the one run by ambitious students at UCI, are self-organized.

“The mission of TEDxUCIrvine is to bring together the community to not only highlight the amazing research happening on our campus, but also to share the experiences and stories of the individuals who make up the UC Irvine community,” said Raymond Lam, Executive Director of TEDxUCIrvine.

At the Core was a true testament to the vision of the TEDxUCIrvine team. Speakers ranged from Professor Gregory Weiss, who shared his experiences with unboiling an egg, to Alumnus Ben Teller who shared his story as a cancer survivor.

“It is a natural fit for the Division of Undergraduate Education to sponsor such an important event,” said Michael Dennin, Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education. “The cross disciplinary focus, and highlight of UCI research creates value for all of our undergraduates. The event was excellent.”

Being 100% student run, there are many challenges in producing such a large scale event. Each year TEDxUCIrvine recruits roughly 40 UCI student volunteers to help raise over $25,000 that is needed to put on their Annual conference. To reach their funding goals, the group works throughout the year to negotiate with local businesses, departments, and divisions on campus, who share their vision of putting UC Irvine’s ideas and research on a platform that showcases to the local UCI community and the world.

“This was a wonderful event where UCI students themselves reached out and identified UCI faculty with research that is truly worth sharing,” commented Goran Matijasevic, TEDxUCIrvine’s faculty advisor. “The sponsorship from the Division of Undergraduate Education allowed the group to record the event to help spread speaker’s messages and research to a much broader audience of not only UCI students, but also the larger community.”

UCI Media Services produced the live event and are editing the talks so that the video recordings of the talks can be shared to the world through YouTube. If you were not able to attend the event, you will soon be able to experience the ideas by viewing them on the main TEDx YouTube Page.

To learn more about how to get involved with TEDxUCIrvine or to sponsor next year’s event please email TEDxUCIrvine@gmail.com or visit www.TEDxUCIrvine.com.

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