TEDx Virginia Tech presents


at the Moss Arts Center

Announcing: Illuminate



“Illuminate” will be the theme for the TEDxVirginiaTech 2014 event to be held on Nov. 20, at the Moss Arts Center. TED enthusiasts and great speakers, thinkers, and doers are invited to “give the talk of a lifetime” at the third annual event.

Intentionally broad, the theme is meant to inspire multidisciplinary and transformative ideas in line with the principles of TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. The 2014 event will be held in the evening, so the theme casts a deliberate contrast between light and dark. It evokes a broad range of literal and figurative interpretations and proposes intriguing questions, such as:

  • How can we make the invisible, visible?
  • How can old and new problems be seen in new light?
  • How can we ignite the power, passion, and promise of new knowledge?
  • How do we prevent the suffocation of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurialism?
  • Are there proven frameworks for providing clarity on societal problems?
  • What are the long-term environmental effects of new lighting technologies?
  • What impacts does light have on both the function and aesthetics of architectural spaces?
  • Can the shadows be just as interesting as the light?
  • What artifacts represent a moment of clarity, of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension?
  • Have you experienced an unexpected moment in which a passion was illuminated for you?
  • What happens scientifically in our physical beings in a moment of enlightenment?
  • How does light affect our mood and social behavior?

The TEDxVirginiaTech committee invites university faculty, staff, students, alumni, and New River Valley community members to submit nominations for speakers. Deadline for submissions is April 30. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged.

“TEDxVirginiaTech – Illuminate provides a platform for engaging the local and global community in igniting the power, passion, and promise of creativity, innovation, connection, and illumination,” said Peter Doolittle, professor with the School of Education and director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research. He serves on the organizing committee of TEDxVirginiaTech. “As Virginia Tech works to Invent the Future, it must illuminate the questions, context, solutions, and integrations necessary to move forward.”

Nominations will be accepted at the TEDxVirginiaTech website until April 30, with a short list of prospective speakers being invited to pitch their talks to selection committees in May and June. Final speakers will be announced in August. Nominations should include: The potential speaker’s name, affiliation with Virginia Tech, email address, description of idea worth spreading, how the idea relates to the event theme, and information about why the nominee is a credible speaker.

Speakers at the event will be allotted up to 15 minutes to address a topic that has broad appeal, relates to the event’s theme, and is an idea worth spreading — a central principle held by the nonprofit organization. Dynamic, highly visual presentations coupled with a storytelling speaking style are encouraged. As with TED guidelines, speakers are disallowed from addressing political and/or religious agendas, or promoting a company, and also precluded from using podiums or notes during their talk.

TEDxVirginiaTech talks will be streamed live via the Internet. The talks also will be recorded, and the resulting files will become part of the larger TEDx Talks archive. As a result, allotted times will be enforced. To assist with the requirements of speaking at a TEDx event, speakers will receive mentoring in the development of their presentations and their presentation delivery by the TEDxVirginiaTech steering committee.

More than 500 people attended TEDxVirginiaTech 2013 at the Moss Arts Center. Previous TEDxVirginiaTech speakers have spoken at TEDGlobal, been featured on TED.com and in national publications, and received prestigious honors for their work.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED. TEDxVirginiaTech is coordinated by the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER).

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