Letters TEDxUofSC on the horseshoe

TEDxUofSC 2020 goes virtual

Virtual TEDxUofSC brings “ideas worth spreading” right to you



The University of South Carolina will host its first virtual TEDxUofSC event Oct. 21. Guided by TED’s goal of sharing “ideas worth spreading,” TEDxUofSC 2020 will be broadcast from the Columbia campus via Facebook Live from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., so an extended lunch and access to Facebook is all you need to attend.

Following 2018’s sold-out in-person event, the TEDxUofSC team faced a challenge putting on the follow-up during a pandemic. When the shutdown began earlier this year, it looked like the entire event would have to be postponed indefinitely. But TED, the parent organization that approves TEDx programs, didn’t want everyone to miss a year (or more) of sharing good ideas and groundbreaking progress, so they approved an alternative: licensed TEDx programs could go virtual instead.

TEDxUofSC organizers, already well into the speaker selection process, jumped at the chance. A virtual presentation of the talks would allow them to offer programming for the university and Midlands communities while still keeping all participants safe and healthy. The talks, for example, could be prerecorded to limit contact between the speakers, host, organizers and crew.

The team also realized it was a great opportunity to offer their talks to anyone in the world, right out of the gate. Moving the program online means anyone can “attend” from anywhere. While the event is free and open to the public, attendees are encouraged to register online at sc.edu/TEDxUofSC.

For university President Bob Caslen, the event showcases some of the great work being done at South Carolina. “In 2020, our resourcefulness and creativity are stronger than ever,” he says. “I’ve seen how ideas can inspire people, lift up communities and even change the world. It’s happening right here at South Carolina.”

TEDxUofSC 2020, hosted by alumna Rania Jamison — a dynamic public speaker, entrepreneur and communications consultant — will feature five insightful talks. Archie Crowley, a PhD. student in linguistics, knows that words have the power to connect us. They’ll give a historical and cultural perspective to help the audience embrace linguistic evolution concerning gender and identity.

Amit Sheth, founding director of South Carolina’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, leads a team developing apps and chat bots that keep patients with chronic illness in more regular and robust communication with their health care providers.

Ann Eisenberg, assistant professor at the School of Law, will take a close look at reviving our rural communities. An expert in rural decline, she has a vision for building a new, thriving rural America.

I’ve seen how ideas can inspire people, lift up communities and even change the world. It’s happening right here at South Carolina.

UofSC President Bob Caslen

Research professor Lorne Hofseth studies the link between chronic inflammation and colon cancer. He’ll discuss how a Western diet and lifestyle create a hospitable environment for carcinogens in the colon, and he’ll provide some tips to reduce chronic inflammation.

Kailey Mattison, a Pharm.D. candidate who medically retired from soccer while at South Carolina, will share with parents her tips for building off-the-field habits with their kids to ensure that success on the field is matched with success throughout life.

TEDxUofSC’s main goal has always been to share stories of how the university community’s opportunities and research successes improve lives across our state and nation, and even around the world. Thanks to flexibility and ingenuity, that hasn’t changed, even in the midst of a pandemic. For more information, go to sc.edu/TEDxUofSC or email TEDxUofSC@sc.edu

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

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 video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on TED.com and other platforms. Audio versions of TED Talks are published to TED Talks Daily, available on all podcast platforms.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; The Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TED Translate, which crowdsources the subtitling of TED Talks so that big ideas can spread across languages and borders; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also offers TED@Work, a program that reimagines TED Talks for workplace learning. TED also has a growing library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, WorkLife with Adam Grant, Pindrop and TEDxSHORTS.

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