Big ideas worth sharing were the focus of those gathered at the Wright Campus Center at Austin College Saturday for the school’s second round of TEDxAustinCollege.


Speakers at the event came from Austin College and around the world and spoke both in person and via video. Those who attended the event said they got more than they expected.


Sandra Ostapowich said she was delighted with how all of the speakers and their topics enhanced the theme of the event which was, “Pieces of a Mosiac.” She said she works with a nonprofit that puts on similar events and really wanted to get a look at the mechanics of such an event.


Across the room, Kathie Maniet from Howe said she had never been to an event like TEDx before and was delighted with the “ideas, the information and the personalities of the people” who were presenting.


“It was very enlightening,” she added.


Austin College officials were also pleased with the event.


“The success of this event demonstrates that our community benefits greatly by having these types of complex discussions,” AC interim president Michael Imhoff said. “Sharing diverse opinions in open dialogue is so much more constructive than man recent polarizing political conversations. Everyone should experience this type of event.”


Whether it was Austin College student Sierra Salser’s take on her biracial existence in a world that insists on seeing things, including her, as either black or white or AC alumni Aaron White’s take on what part of each of us will live forever, those in attendance heard big concepts like ethnicity and immortality discussed in the context of human experiences. They also heard Austin College alumnus Rob Kelso, founder and CEO of Kelso Aerospace, discuss just how soon mankind might establish an outpost beyond the earth.


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, TED Talks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x stands for and independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized, though subject to certain rules and regulations.


TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.


TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.


Millions of viewers worldwide have seen videos of the annual TED Conferences, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers have been invited to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of “ideas worth spreading.” Launched in 2009, TEDx brings a TED-like experience to local venues. Some of the best talks from TEDx events have been featured on TED.com and garnered millions of views from audiences across the globe. Austin College’s talks, like those given by Salser and White, were recorded and will be posted on the TEDx YouTube channel.