University of Calgary

Sharing ideas

UToday HomeApril 4, 2012

By Josh Manerikar

TEDxUofC. Photo by Levente KovacsTen speakers at the TEDxUofC conference encouraged students to build a positive legacy. Photo by Levente KovacsStudents and alumni joined an astronaut, a composer and some entrepreneurs last week for TEDxUofC, an eight-hour, independently organized event licensed by TED, where speakers encouraged students to consider how to create a positive legacy.

Ten prestigious speakers—including astronaut Bob Thirsk, composer Zachary Wadsworth and entrepreneurs Mogens Smed and Kurt Goodjohn—offered scenarios where harnessing passion, persevering through setbacks and embracing creativity resulted in a lasting legacy.

“With amazing speakers, and such driven and diverse students, everyone is getting something a little bit different out of the day,” says Teja, a second-year development studies student.

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) organized conferences give speakers a maximum of 18 minutes to present their idea. The core TED conference is held annually in Long Beach, California and the best of the presentations from that main and other TEDx conferences held around the world are posted on Many videos get millions of hits.

TEDx conferences are globally successful and in high demand—there were 13 TEDx conferences worldwide March 30.

With life-sized Jenga blocks where participants could write down questions and ideas, an after-party, and live music, TEDxUofC was an opportunity for students to be inspired and make new connections.

“Even though we are such a diverse crowd, there is still an overwhelming sense of community,” says Teja. “I can’t wait for next year.”

The conference was also streamed live online. Once edited, the talks will be posted on, and photos posted on

TEDxUofC was sponsored by the Students’ Union, Alumni Association and Edge Video.