Guides and presenters to earn seats at TEDxSMU

Volunteer to help guide the 2011 TEDxKids @SMU program for area middle school students and earn tickets to TEDxSMU.


Applications are open for 14 SMU students interested in serving as Carole and Jim Young Fellows — enthusiastic students from each of SMU’s academic colleges who will help guide the 2011 TEDxKids @SMU program for area middle school students and earn complimentary tickets to TEDxSMU.

The events for both middle school children and adults are independently organized, but licensed by the organizers of the renowned TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference held annually in Long Beach, Calif.  Lightning-fast talks paired with compelling visuals will be based on a central theme of “disruption” this year as the half-day TEDxKids @SMU and full-day TEDxSMU events return to the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater Dec. 2-3.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 and fellows will be announced Oct. 7.

Carole and Jim Young Fellows will serve as TEDxKids @SMU host supervisors, keeping the middle school participants engaged in both the on-stage events and break activities Dec. 2.  Fellows also may audition to be TEDxKids @SMU on-stage presenters and will be invited to participate in TEDxSMU programming throughout the remainder of the 2011-2012 academic year.

Fellowship applicants are being encouraged to answer the “Why do you want to participate” component of the application as creatively as possible, using anything from essays, to poems to videotaped performances to demonstrate initiative. Fellows also will be chosen based on their answers to the questions, “What are you most curious about?”  and “If you could give a talk to the students at TEDxKids @SMU, what would it be?”

“This is a great opportunity for students to participate in TEDxSMU in a year where we're forecasting very limited seats for new attendees – and for free,” said Sharon Lyle, director of TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU. 

TEDxKIDS @SMUThe fellowships are being provided by an anonymous donor to honor Carole and Jim Young for their longstanding commitment to the TED theme of “Ideas Worth Spreading” and their enthusiastic support of TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU, Lyle said. The Youngs have been active volunteer leaders at SMU for two decades and both are current members of the Lyle School of Engineering’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education Advisory Board.

Participation in TEDxKids @SMU is offered to Dallas-area area students free of charge in exchange for an agreement to complete a service-learning project. All TEDxKids-coordinated service projects will take place on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and the Carole and Jim Young Fellows will be encouraged to participate.

“TEDxSMU brings a unique dimension to our community by recognizing, cultivating and nurturing those who will make a difference in our world,” said Carole Young. “I am thrilled that, through the Jim and Carole Young Fellows program, the opportunity to experience this innovative conference will be passed on to outstanding SMU students.”

“We are convinced that once these students experience TED, they will soon discover their own ‘ideas worth spreading,’” said Jim Young.  “As a longtime and deeply committed TEDster, I am honored to have this program in our name.”

Visit for more information about TEDxSMU and TEDxKids @SMU.

Find more information about ideas worth spreading and a complete list of TEDTalks at


Mind-stretching programs that connect thought leaders, solution seekers and the merely curious to “why not?” challenges will return to the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre with TEDxKids @SMU on Dec. 2 and TEDxSMU on Dec. 3. The theme for TEDxSMU in 2011 will be disruption – a discussion of events, discoveries and how they impact us personally and as a community.

TEDxSMU is an all-day event for pre-registered participants, and the 2010 program ranged from personal discussions of physical and mental journeys to demonstrations of high-tech gadgetry. Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus used the Wyly Theatre as a teaching tool throughout the program, opening the moveable walls of the theatre he designed to the sights and sounds of downtown Dallas at the end of the day.

TEDxKids @SMU is a half-day program designed for middle school students who hear incredible speakers, experience hands-on demos and learn during interactive breaks. In 2010, 350 middle school students learned about evolution from a Canadian rapper, witnessed a breakthrough invention called the EyeWriter, and applauded for peer presenters who spoke about micro lending, politics and poetry. In exchange for free admission to TEDxKids @SMU, student attendees are required to complete a service project. Through projects at SMU, at school, and with local nonprofits, students who attended TEDxKids @SMU in 2010 have contributed more than 1,625 service hours to the community.

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 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, 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 TEDFellows 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.


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