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Mobile, Impact, ‘Lifehack’ Or Local:
SMU students send their ideas to TEDActive

February 14, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) – It’s called a TEDActive Takeover, and SMU students are being challenged to brainstorm and chart their best ideas through Feb. 17 on a series of topics to be presented at the TEDActive conference in Palm Springs, Calif.,  Feb. 24 - March 1.  Learn about the big picture at

TEDActive logoTEDxSMU organizers based out of the Lyle School of Engineering are mounting the challenge, but all SMU students are invited to participate, whether by attending brainstorming events in person or contributing ideas and information through social media.  The four categories for ideas worth sharing are mobile, impact, lifehack and local:


The TEDActive Hackathon is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16,  from noon to 8 p.m. in the Innovation Gym of Caruth Hall.  The provocative question on the table is “What’s Wrong With SMU?” and the challenge is to prototype a mobile app in six hours that solves an on-campus problem.  The event includes free food, prizes (like TEDxSMU tickets) and the opportunity to network with Dallas app developers. Students who can’t code can still participate with drawings and business plans. Register and find more at


The challenge question is  “How Do You Measure the Impact of Good?” It’s a question that service organizations, non-profits and philanthropists would like answered. Join this group at


A LifeHack is a creative tip or trick that is used to make life efficient. Students, faculty, staff and friends of SMU are invited to share their ideas by following @UnivLH on Twitter, using the hashtags #ProjectActive and #TedActive when sharing.  Suggestions for ideas include how to study efficiently on campus, how to maintain a livable student budget and tips on keeping up with university activities.  


Students have created an interactive globe where the landmasses will be populated with SMU students faces to show where they call home. SMU may be in Dallas, but the University is made up of students, faculty and staff from all over the globe, meaning SMU’s local community has global reach. Add yourself to the globe at and answer the question, “What does global mean to you?” at  by posting a video up to one minute and thirty seconds long or by writing a post (in any language) as an answer.

TEDActive is a four-day program featuring TED's famous 18-minute talks, plus music, comedy, dance, short talks, video and other surprises.  Brandon Lazarus, a graduate student in the Perkins School of Theology and an active participant in TEDxSMU, will carry the SMU ideas to present to the TEDActive conference in Palm Springs, Feb. 25-March 1. 

This year TEDActive invited SMU and six other universities to contribute to the conference projects , which are designed to find innovative answers to big questions.  The project webpage is at

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, Cal. (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TEDxSMU is jointly produced by Southern Methodist University and Dallas IdeaSpace, a nonprofit dedicated to positively impacting the intellectual infrastructure and creative capacity of Dallas through investing in ideas and curating experiences. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.