USF jumps to the Edge of the Future

One hundred winners of a lottery for tickets will attend USFs inaugural TEDx event titled On the Edge of the Future on Friday in the School of Music.

TEDTalks, first started in Silicon Valley in the 1980s, are based on the concept of ideas worth spreading, and have featured speakers ranging from Bono to Bill Clinton. In 2009, the organization began granting independent agencies the ability to create TEDx talks.

At USF, the collection of nine speakers includes USF faculty members, one Board of Trustees member(Jordan Zimmerman),graduate students and one alumna.

Raven Villegas, arecent graduate who doublemajored in international studies and political science, heard of the event through a co-worker who was on the TEDxUSF planning committee.

Having seen some TEDTalks online, Villegas said she was excited to see the event come to the USF community. She was later chosen as one of more than 60people who applied to give apresentation at the event.

TEDTalks are animportant tool, regardless of age really, because of their simplicity, Villegas, who was unable to be reached by phone due to illness, said in an email. Being the only recent graduate to speak at the event is a great honor. I have been given the opportunity to have all eyes and ears on me for a brief period to listen to my big idea.

Villegas said she plans to discuss integrating the international sphere with general educationrequirements at USF. She envisions a way forfreshmen to have moreopportunities to study abroad, in order to grasp broaderhorizons.

Former USF facultymember and engineering alumnus,Stephan Athan, will also take part in a TEDx event, though at the University of Florida campus on Saturday.

Athans discussion will be based on the wormholeconcept in education and mentoring, which he began using during his days as a faculty member at USF.

The concept of thewormhole is essentially creating a shortcut forstudents, Athan said.Basically teaching them to learn and visualize andembrace concepts and ideas that they wouldve figured out 10 years into their career, but were doing it now.

Athan said he valuesmentoring and sees it as a tool to make significant changes in peoples lives.

I get tremendouspleasure out of working with kids, he said. It doesnt matter how old, they can be five or 55. But when you see their eyes light up when they get excited aboutsomething and theyrepassionate and motivated and creative, theres nothing better than that.

Both Athan and Villegas said they see TED events as a catalyst for each viewer or audience member to better themselves.

Its like a tool, and you make whatever use you can of it, Athan said.

The TEDxUSF event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the USF School ofMusic. Live streams and watch parties will be held invarious locations aroundcampus for students who were unable to grab a seat before the event sold out.

TEDxUSF coordinatorJennifer Espinola wasunavailable for comment at the time of print.