The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

TEDx Talks take leadership to new levels

By Jamie Niland

TEDxSanAntonio will bring 17 speakers from all walks of life together at 8:30 a.m. March 5 to educate viewers and listeners. Rackspace will host the event at 1 Fanatical Place, Windcrest, San Antonio under the theme “You Think You Know.”

Wayne Hartman, senior research engineer for USAA, will talk about the disconnect between humans and technology. His talk is titled, “Phone Zombies: Technology for Reconnecting with Nature and Each Other.”

Kate Hayward, a technical writer and editor for the past 25 years, will offer the audience ways to use drawing to make detailed analytical information easier to understand. Her talk is titled “Draw Like a Child; See Like a Master.”

“I’m on a mission, to get people to add drawing into their conversations,” Hayward said. “By the time we reach adulthood we no longer draw. And so my talk is about reminding people that they do have these skills and these skills have a place in adulthood.”

Regardless of the end goal, they all share one similar belief: that using technology to spread ideas and knowledge for free can be beneficial to not only learners, but teachers as well.

“Really the best way to learn, is to teach,” Hartman said. “Learning how to articulate your message in practical ways that other people can understand is an extremely valuable skill that transcends learning itself.” 

The acronym “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, the organization, however, stands for much more. TEDx events are independently run, local, inspirational idea hubs that happen anywhere, and everywhere. TEDx aims to highlight and elevate locally-driven ideas through powerful talks.

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to democratizing education and spreading ideas, that today, cover almost all topics, in more than 100 languages, through powerful talks that are normally 18 minutes or less.

There are four different ways to get involved with TEDxSanAntonio: attending the event as a viewer, sponsoring the event as an organization, speaking to spread knowledge or volunteering at the event.

TEDx events differentiate from traditional TED Talks because its sole focus is not entrepreneurship, business or technology, it isn’t a marketing conference, and it isn’t limited to one topic or field. Although these local TEDx events stray from the normal TED talk format, they embody the traditional inspiring spirit of the non-profit organization.

This particular TEDxSanAntonio event, happening on March 5, is “invite only,” meaning request a ticket and do a virtual interview before being invited to attend. Tickets are $85 for general admission and $45 with a student ID.

The “You Think You Know” theme will unite 17 speakers who will inspire listeners and viewers to THINK while enabling them to KNOW, according to the website. Speakers will cover topics ranging from cybersecurity to saving the sharks.

“It’s really easy to scapegoat technology and say, well, technology is bad it’s driving wedges in between us. But really, if we use technology in a different way it can be very powerful and actually deepen the connections that we have with each other and our external environments,” Hartman said.

In addition to this TEDxSanAntonio event, TED will host a TEDxYouth event and a TEDxWomen event this year, dates to be announced. For more information,  visit the TEDxSanAntonio website.

About the Author

Jamie Niland
Jamie Niland
Managing Editor
Jamie enjoys creating art through many different mediums including graphic design, photography and writing. Jamie is a managing editor and digital marketer at The Mesquite and has interned as a marketing assistant for the Boy Scouts of America. She’s an avid shoe collector and is always up to date on the latest sneaker releases.
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