This year’s TEDxUNCAsheville took some rethinking.
The inaugural TEDx event at UNC Asheville took place last year in the Grotto in Highsmith University Union—a modest venue, though the eight student speakers leading the inspirational and thought-provoking lectures filled the space with nearly 150 audience members.
This year the lineup consists of 15 speakers and includes students, professors and members of the Asheville community, and organizer Jack Derbyshire ’15 expects to fill the 580 seats in Lipinsky Auditorium.
“The number of unheard voices in Asheville is astounding, and it’s a crime to not take advantage and not recognize our local talent,” said Derbyshire, who is looking forward to sharing these voices with a larger audience this year.
The venue isn’t the only change to TEDxUNCAsheville. For the first time speakers will be asked to focus on a theme, “(re)thinking.”
“The description of TED and TEDx events is that it has to be multidisciplinary,” Derbyshire said. “It’s completely radical new ideas from all different fields, they don’t necessarily have to relate at all. So we had to have a theme that was broad enough to encompass everything.”
This year the daylong event will feature the short, powerful lectures that TED and TEDx events are known for, along with interactive exhibits from Moog Music, guided meditation sessions and musical performances. Speakers will discuss a wide range of topics, including the college experience for recent war veterans, the function of storytelling in society, and community gardening.
“It’s one of the reasons I really like this event,” Derbyshire said, “because one of our goals is to recognize our speakers for being these unheard or little-heard voices that make our community better.”
TEDxUNCAsheville takes place from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. For details on speakers and ticket information, check out the TEDxUNCAsheville website.