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How Students Created the First TEDxUTAustin

Resonance is the idea that something small can create a big change. It is a motto Longhorns live by, and it is fittingly the theme for the very first TEDxUTAustin.

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Resonance is the idea that something small can create a big change. It is a motto Longhorns live by, and it is fittingly the theme for the very first TEDxUTAustin.

TEDx events, platforms for powerful talks and inspirational ideas, are popular worldwide, but The University of Texas at Austin has not hosted an official TEDx event until this year.

“UT is such an open environment for knowledge, and not already having a TEDx event on campus surprised us more because it is an excellent platform for sharing ideas,” says Abhishek Dasgupta, a sophomore biomedical engineering major and co-organizer of the event.

In the past, students attempted to host a TEDx event, but roadblocks involving regulations caused plans to fall through. Hosting one of these events requires persistence, time and attention to detail. While balancing school and life, bringing a TEDx event to reality is a daunting task.

However, the team was determined to create their own resonance on campus by seeing this plan through.

“Our organizing team went to a leadership camp called LeaderShape, which is put on by UT twice a year, and I think we were all inspired at that camp to start making positive changes in our communities,” says Luca Tomescu, a sophomore electrical engineering major and co-organizer of the event. “We really saw TEDx as an avenue of doing that.”

The result was a sold-out event and a full house.

[[Missed this year’s TEDxUTAustin? The lecture series is available HERE]]

Tedx UTAustin Group with Letters

The community was excited to participate. Organizers received more than 300 applications, which they narrowed down to 14 speakers that best embodied the theme. The presenters ranged from undergraduate students to Austin community members, with the common denominator being that they were motivated to create change.

“This experience has been invaluable. It has taught me how to work with people, delegate tasks, make sure we’re all working together towards the same goal,” says Tomescu.

With the accomplishment of hosting the first TEDxUTAustin event, the team is not done yet. They anticipate that this event is here to stay, but they need more students to help plan for the next event.

[[If you are interested in updates on next year’s event or want to get involved, follow the TEDxUTAustin group on Facebook.]]