TEDxVirginiaTech is seeking university faculty, staff, students, alumni, and New River Valley community members as speakers for its second annual event to be held Nov. 9, 2013. 

The deadline for submissions is May 30.

Interested persons can nominate themselves or another person as a speaker for the fall event which will focus on the theme of Beyond Boundaries. This year’s event expands from the inaugural TEDxVirginiaTech event to include community members within the New River Valley who are not directly affiliated with the university. The organizing committee seeks to broaden the TEDxVirginiaTech events as encompassing the university and all of the community together.

“The Virginia Tech community has many engaging stories to tell and important, innovative knowledge to share, and we invite people to submit a proposal,” said Melissa Richards, a co-chairwoman with the TEDxVirginiaTech executive committee and assistant vice president for marketing and publications for Virginia Tech.

Nominations will be accepted at the TEDxVirginiaTech website until May 30, with a short list of prospective speakers being invited to pitch their talks to selection committees in July. Final speakers will be announced in the fall. 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. TED celebrates great speakers, thinkers and doers -- people with ideas that are passionately held and clearly stated, said Richards.

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.

The “Beyond Boundaries” theme is intentionally broad, thereby meant to inspire a range of interpretations and proposals in line with TED principles, such as:

  • What happens when we think beyond boundaries?
  • What types of boundaries exist? Geographic, spatial, cultural, art, social, gender, economic, perceptual, self-imposed, ethical, political, emotional, etc.
  • What happens when we cross a boundary?
  • How are boundaries represented?
  • Why do we share and reinforce boundaries?
  • Who challenges boundaries?
  • How do boundaries hinder us, or help us?

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” It started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design (thus, TED). Since then, its scope has broadened significantly. TED also collaborates with communities to bring TED-like experiences to those contexts; they are called “TEDx events.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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