University to host regional TEDx talk; speaker applications open

By University Communications
March 17, 2015
The Great Hall in the Memorial Student Center will be the site of TEDxUW-Stout.

Photo: The deadline for submission of speaker abstracts is April 15.

Some of the region’s most creative, innovative and inspiring people will be coming to University of Wisconsin-Stout for a special event in fall 2015.

At 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, the university will host TEDxUW-Stout. TEDx events are regional, independently organized versions of the nationally known TED talks.

TED stands for technology, entertainment, design. The popular, nonprofit TED events bring together "the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers," according to

Speakers interested in applying for TEDxUW-Stout must submit abstracts by Wednesday, April 15. Go to for more information.

Because the event is regional in nature, UW-Stout is hoping to draw speakers from a 90-mile radius, including the Twin Cities metro area, and alumni. The selection committee expects to choose from seven to 10 speakers.

The theme for TEDxUW-Stout will be EDGE, which stands for explore, discover, grow, engage.

Mary McManus is coordinator of the Involvement Center’s Ally Initiatives in the Memorial Student Center, where the event will be held in the Great Hall. She believes TEDx is a perfect fit for UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, and for west-central Wisconsin.

“The Chippewa Valley and broader region are ripe with potential for sharing great and inspiring ideas with a global audience. The area is flush with artists, writers, filmmakers, scientists, researchers, experts in technology, people engaged in sustainable design and as inventors and entrepreneurs,” McManus said. “All of these idea people are right here in our own backyard.”

McManus, a longtime TED talks fan, would love to see “real, impactful change come about from a seed planted at TEDxUW-Stout.”

The event is being co-chaired by McManus and Emily Ascher of the Involvement Center, with support from University Marketing.

“Working on this project with students, faculty, staff and regional members of the community is collaborative and inspiring. TEDxUW-Stout is a perfect avenue to promote what UW-Stout and west-central Wisconsin have to offer. I’m Stout proud,” McManus said.

One of the students working on event promotion is Chalsey Falk, of Moorhead, Minn., a graphic design and interactive media major. She is employed at the student center as a graphic designer. She created the website for TEDxUW-Stout.

“Hosting this event is another initiative that will contribute to the growth and diversity we see everyday on campus,” said Falk, a senior. “TEDx shows how much our students, faculty, staff and community care about becoming the most innovative yet well-rounded citizens we can be.”

TED began in 1984 and has become a social phenomenon, expanding to include popular videos of presentations, TED Fellows, the TED Prize and other efforts aimed at fulfilling its mantra, "Ideas worth spreading."

TEDxUW-Stout will be paid for by corporate sponsors, with no expense to taxpayers.