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St. Olaf hosts inaugural TEDx event


On April 23, St. Olaf hosted its first TEDx event, which featured six speakers from diverse backgrounds. Student speakers included Mary Maker ’23, Emma Krantz ’23, and Aiden Kocian ’25. Though the speakers’ presentations contained their own unique experiences and ideas, they dealt with the “Ignite” theme.

“Ignite is a theme that comes up with new systems in a society caused by the pandemic. It’s about coming out of this period of darkness, bringing these things into society and igniting feelings in others,” said Isabel Dias ’25, the executive producer of TEDx at St. Olaf. The lectures do indeed follow the theme of rekindling, and, at their core, focused on rebuilding and rethinking the world in which we live. “It’s really beautiful how all these talks are connected by music, love, and education,” Dias said. 

TEDx is a new organization on campus which started in fall 2022. Five departments helped to plan the event, and Dias, as the producer, oversees all five. She has been working throughout the year to bring the event to its full potential. She also helped the organization recieve its TEDx University License. The license is “relatively easy” to obtain but does have several stipulations. Namely, the company warns against “bad science” and “political, religious, ‘us vs. them’ agendas.” 

Overall, following these rules was easy for the speakers, who wished to share a range of ideas based on personal experience. The event can be found on the St. Olaf website streamed by the St. Olaf broadcasting team, and the talks themselves will be edited and posted to the official TEDx YouTube channel.

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