TEDxMNSU draws in big crowd while sharing big ideas

This past Friday the TEDxMNSU event was held at Minnesota State University, Mankato, featuring 11 speakers ranging from MSU faculty and alumni who shared personal statements and uplifting messages.

Originally scheduled to be held in March of 2020, the event was finally able to be held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom with several hundred community members and students who were in attendance.

MSU President Edward Inch kicked off the event with a welcome to everyone who attended the first TEDxMNSU event, “This is one of our events that was put on by six of our graduate students. This is an event that has been designed around the expertise and big ideas of our faculty and students.”

With a variety of topics that aimed to make audience members think about ways to improve their daily life, the event fostered many big ideas.

Jonathan Hicks, associate professor for the Department of Recreation Parks and Leisure Services, shared his experience of his first ted talk event.

“I think more than anything I am just humbled by how many people showed up. Students hear me talk five days a week already, so for them to still show up and be such an engaged audience, it’s a pretty cool thing,” Hicks said.

Many MSU students came to see a TED talk in person as most were already familiar with the well-known organization.

“My favorite speaker was Kristen and how she talked about communication and learning,” 

Wendy Orina, a sophomore at MSU said. “I watch TED Talks and I’ve always wanted to see one in person so this was a good opportunity, I wanted to see what it had to offer.”

With all attendees receiving a goodie bag along with opportunities to sign up for workshops, the day was filled with inspiring and informational conversations.

“Jonathan stood out to me because I do have a fear of animals and him talking about how being close to them can change your life was interesting,” Fikir Tebeje, a sophomore at MSU said.

Following the first round of speakers, there were ongoing workshops taking place in the nearby CSU rooms. Some of the workshops included an intro to mediation, intuitive eating, and a nature walk with Maverick Adventures. After intermission, the second round of speakers then took the stage and shared their TED talks. 

Open to both MSU students and the general public, the event ran throughout the day starting at 9 a.m. and closing the ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

Header Photo: Ben Finley was this year’s TEDxMNSU host while fostering 11 featured speakers which included some MSU faculty and alumni. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Julia Barton at Julia.Barton@mnsu.edu

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