“Thinking Big” now has even higher expectations for the University of Rhode Island community. TEDxURI is the inspiration behind this and has been launched in the spirit of sharing ideas worth spreading for a TED-like experience on campus.

The TEDx website said the goal of the program is to help communities, organizations, and individuals engage in conversations and connection through TED-like experiences.

TEDTalks are notoriously known for the innovative speakers who explore deeper thoughts through powerful talks. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, in the form of short, powerful talks.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. A TED conference showcases important ideas from any teachings, and displays how it connects to other ideas. These talks now highlight topics such as global issues, science, business and more. The TEDxURI program is allowing the community to engage in talks under the theme “A View of the Future.”

TEDxURI is holding the main event on Feb. 10 and looking for anyone within the URI community that are innovative, go-getting speakers that will display Rhody’s best talent and inspirational ideas. There will be six to ten speakers that will be held back-to-back at the event. Caitlyn Sloan, student representative and Stage Manager for TEDxURI, is one of the few people who chooses the speakers.

Sloan said there is no specific model for the perfect candidate. The organizers are seeking storytellers who can deliver compelling messages, and who show passion for their topic.

“It would be a great way to showcase our community and all the ideas we have here,” she said. “We always say ‘Think Big’ so I think this is a great way to showcase those big thinkers.”

This is the first TEDx event for the University. Maling Ebrahimpour, Dean of URI’s College of Business Administration, has been a devoted follower of TED talks and decided to bring TEDx to URI.

Ebrahimpour, in a press release URI sent out, stated that “a TEDx talk is one that should come from your experience and your devotion to or enthusiasm for a topic or cause. In other words, it has to be part of you.” He said that URI is looking for talks that focus on the University and its people and where we are headed in the future.

Sloan said she’s excited to see all the auditions and offered some advice for people who are on the fence about auditioning. “Be yourself and, you know, show us what you got,” she said. “I know we have a lot of great people out there, great speakers, and great thinkers. Believe in yourself and the audience will believe in you.”

Whether looking for inspiration for class projects, curious about the latest tech and media innovations, or deep into a study break, TED has created a relatable outlet for everyone. TEDtalks are very popular on campus and students are pleased with the idea that TEDx is coming to URI.

Kelsey Martain, a senior at URI said throughout her entire college career, her professors have shown her so many different TEDtalks. “I always feel so inspired and more informed whenever I watch a new [talk] so much that I often find myself going home and watching more,” she said. “I was so thrilled when I found out it was coming to URI and I can’t wait to see who speaks and what topics they chose to speak about.”

Auditions will be held Tuesday, Nov. 14, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the URI Fine Arts Center, G Studio, 105 Upper College Road.

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Jessica Pace
I’m from Long Island, New York. I am a senior double major in Journalism and Communication Studies. I have a passion for telling people stories that are exciting and intriguing. My plans for the future is to bring you a friendly familiar face to the TV screen- as a dedicated reporter. I’ve interned with WJAR NBC10 in Providence and News 12 Long Island two summers in a row. If you see me on campus with a camera, don’t be shy! Say hi!