University seeking dynamic speakers for TEDx auditions

URI, its College of Business Administration to hold TEDxURI Feb. 10

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KINGSTON, R.I. — October 27, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island and its College of Business Administration are seeking storytellers, visionaries and entertainers who can deliver compelling messages that help society see a future of discovery, innovation, promise, compassion and interconnectedness.

URI is asking University community members and area residents to audition for the first TEDx event produced by an institution of higher education in Rhode Island.

Auditions are open to URI students, faculty, staff and alumni and area residents, and 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.

The main event, TEDxURI, will be held Saturday afternoon, Feb. 10, 2018, at the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical & Forensic Sciences, 140 Flagg Road, Kingston. The time will be announced at a later date. Organizers want presenters who can share some of Rhody’s most unexplored, inspirational ideas and talent.

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

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. It began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged.

TEDxURI is the brainchild of Maling Ebrahimpour, dean of URI’s College of Business Administration, who has been a devoted follower of TED talks.

“I have wanted to be involved for years” the dean said.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the speaker, you get hooked,” Ebrahimpour said. “Ninety percent of the time, speakers’ arguments are backed by data. 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. We’re looking for talks that focus on the University and its people and where we are headed in the future. We welcome speakers from all sectors of the University, and the more students, the better.”

Ebrahimpour said since TEDx talks provide a national platform to the speakers and the institutions they represent, “it is the perfect opportunity for us to tell the URI story as it takes bold steps into the future. We are looking for riveting and entertaining talks about business, technology, science, the liberal arts and fine arts and URI’s place in the state, nation and world. The stories could be personal or they could take a University, state or global perspective.”

The dean said the talks will be recorded on video and then posted on the URI website. They will also be sent to TEDx, and the organization will select which ones to run on its website.

Those interested in auditioning should:

  • Plan for a topic about which you are passionate, outline the ideas for your speech and deliver a short sample
  • Be an energized speaker who connects with the audience
  • Take the stage by storm and become contagious
  • See what makes a great TEDx

If you are selected, you will give a talk 5 to 20 minutes long.

In addition to Ebrahimpour, the members of the TEDXURI Committee Are:

Karl Aspelund, assistant professor of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design; Karim Boughida, dean of University Libraries; Peg Boyd, assistant dean of the College of Business Administration; Heather Colby, URI manager of Marketing and Advertising; Mark Conley, chair and professor of music; Christopher Edgerley, student; Melissa Frost, executive assistant to the business dean; Christina Haas, assistant director of Alumni Relations; Samantha Hamilton, student in the College of Business Administration; Richard Kubica, chief information officer; Paula McGlasson, professor and department chair of URI Theatre; Michaela Mooney, coordinator of communications, marketing and events for the College of Business Administration; Vince Petronio, assistant professor of Communication Studies; David Porter, director of media and technology services; Jhodi Redlich, public information officer; Adam Roth, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media and Caitlyn Sloan, a senior URI student majoring in theater and public relations.