Student producers organize speaker event on campus

by Emily Tanaka / Beacon Correspondent • February 25, 2016

Updated 2/25; 2:00 p.m.

Students will put on the first TEDxEmersonCollege with the theme “Evolution through Expression” later this semester. The event is independently organized, but Emerson Independent Video is its principal sponsor.

It will be broadcast and live-streamed on the Emerson Channel, according to Ana Tenewitz, content executive producer and sophomore visual and media arts student.  

TED—Technology, Entertainment, and Design—is a non-profit organization that conducts informative talks on subjects that are applicable to the broader community. Emerson’s is an independently produced event that will use the format of the organization’s talks and allow students, faculty, and alumni to speak on their own chosen topics, according to the program’s webpage.

The TEDx program allows organizations to conduct talks that are in the signature TED format, but independent organizations make and produce the content, according to the website. The content will then be published on the TED site under the domain of the independent organization.

The theme of TEDxEmersonCollege is inspired by Emerson’s original motto “Expression Necessary to Evolution,” Tenewitz said. They want lecturers to present topics that are original but relevant to the community and modern society. Christina Safford, speaker coordinator and sophomore political communication major, said the participants should also be passionate, knowledgeable, and persuasive during their talk.   

“When you watch a TED talk it really changes the way you see something, and that’s what I’m personally looking forward to in the speaker interviews,” Safford said.

Organizers held interviews for speakers in the event in early February. Prospective speakers had to prepare a 100-word written proposal and a two to three minute pitch to propose their speech, according to the TEDxEmersonCollege application form. Safford said they chose four to eight students, alumni, or faculty speakers for the event, which will be announced this weekend.

John Pooley, a junior visual and media arts major and the program’s technical executive producer, said he came up with the idea for TEDxEmersonCollege after producing “EIV Turns 40” in spring 2015. Pooley is a former Beacon staff member. He said he liked that the show allowed students to present their work, and decided to find more ways to offer that opportunity.

“I wanted to broaden the scope to showcase the work all around Emerson, including the majors that don’t get as much attention as visual and media arts,” Pooley said.

Both Tenewitz and Safford said they hope TEDxEmersonCollege will be a success and continue in the following years.   

“It’s giving students and the Emerson community a new way to get themselves out there and get their ideas out there,” Tenewitz said. “And I think it’ll be a good experience for anyone who is involved and I hope it’s a legacy that can continue to evolve at Emerson.”


Correction 2/25: A previous version of this article named Emerson Independent Video as TEDxEmersonCollege’s host, when they are actually the principal sponsor of the independent event.