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2012 Archives

'TEDxSMU Hilltop' coming to the campus Sepember 21

Featuring presentations by students, faculty, staff and alumni

See It Live

Watch TEDxSMU Hilltop live
1 - 5 p.m. Friday, September 21, 2012.

September 20, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) – TEDxSMU Hilltop is coming to SMU’s Bob Hope Theater on Friday, Sept. 21 – a free, SMU-only mashup of performance, technology and great talks that will spotlight “Ideas Worth Spreading” right here on campus.

The Lyle School of Engineering and Meadows School of the Arts will join to present high-energy talks and performances that tap the talents of the SMU community. 

The half-day conference will run from 1 – 5 p.m., punctuated by a half-hour conversation break in the middle of the afternoon.  By limiting the audience to the SMU community and staging the event in a campus theater, TEDxSMU is bringing home the kind of event that started with the first TEDxSMU conference in 2009.

TEDxSMU Hilltop is open to everyone on the SMU campus – students, faculty and staff – but it’s first-come, first served. Register here and bring your SMU ID to the event.

The program’s theme is re:THINK. Presenters and schedule:

Session One:  1:00-2:45
Conversation Break: 2:45-3:15
Session Two:  3:15-5:00


Alicia Booker, Graduate Student, Simmons School of Education & Human Development
Janielle Kastner, Senior, Meadows School of the Arts

Session One Speakers (in alpha order)

Adam Anderson, Student
Spoken Word

Willie Baronet, Faculty
Rethinking Home

Kate Canales, Staff
Empathy and Innovation

Erin Crosby, Staff & Alumni
The Bridge to Nowhere

Carl Dorvil, Alumni
The Four P's of Success

Lane Johnson, Student
The Possible Efficacy of Psychotherapy in the Slowing of the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Brandon Lazarus, Student
It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know

Tammy Nguyen Lee, Alumni
Starting My Movement

Katrina Leshan, Student

JSpear, Student

Ryszard Stroynowski, Faculty
Particle Physics -New World Waits for Discovery

Jaquai Wade, Alumni

 Session Two Speakers (in alpha order)

Christopher Bhatti, Staff & Alumni
Benefit of Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Christian Genco, Student
You should learn to program

Rick Halperin, Faculty
The Current Status of Human Rights

Hank Hammett, Faculty
Opera In and Out of the Box

Kevin Lavelle, Alumni
No = Go

Katrina Leshan, Student
A New Way of Looking at Music

Daniel Poku, Student

Isake Slaughter, Student
My Soul Cries

JSpear, Student

Jonathan Wentz, Student
Road to 2012 Paralympics

Ronald  Wetherington, Faculty
Turning Interdisciplinary Teaching Upside Down

TEDxSMU premiered on the SMU campus in 2009 at Caruth Auditorium, one of the first university events licensed as an independently organized “TEDx” event by the nonprofit organization that hosts the TED conference annually in Long Beach. People who have never attended TED or a TEDx event routinely embrace the concept of “Ideas Worth Spreading” by tapping into the thousands of TEDtalks available online.  

Response to the first TEDxSMU was strong enough to require a larger venue for subsequent years. Tickets to TEDxSMU, scheduled for Dec. 1 this year at the new Dallas City Performance Hall, are limited and priced at $150 to cover the production costs.

"We identified an opportunity to reconnect with the University community by bringing the show back to campus for an SMU-only event," said Marc Christensen, dean ad-interim at the Lyle School.  "Our goals are simple: make the conference more accessible to the SMU community both in terms of physical access and financial commitment, highlight our own talented students, faculty, staff and alumni and spark meaningful conversation on campus."   

TEDxSMU also hosts TEDxSMU Wednesdays, which are free, weekly, open-to-the-public brown bag lunch presentations where participants watch and discuss a TEDtalk from the archives.  Check the website for the talk topic and location each week at–-fall-series/.  The group will meet every Wednesday during the fall semester from noon to 1 p.m.

TEDxSMU programming ranges from personal discussions of physical and mental journeys to demonstrations of high-tech gadgetry and inspirational musical performances and great visuals are the common denominator. Modeled on the annual TED (Technology, Engineering and Design) conference in Long Beach, Calif., TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

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. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x =independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

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, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

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