TEDxVillanovaU 2021 Conference: What to Expect


Courtesy of TEDxVillanovaU

TEDxVillanovaU’s recruitment poster

Silu Liu Staff Writer

There is no doubt that this is a special semester; restrictions are everywhere. However, as Villanovans, we must try harder to speak up this semester. We have been called to rebuild and become an ever better community.

TEDxVillanovaU is a student organization that provides a platform for University students, faculty, staff and alumni to share their stories and perspectives with the greater community and beyond.

“Our group strives to curate events with only the highest level of respect for people of all backgrounds, no matter their race, sexual orientation, economic status, religion, gender identity, ethnic background or political affiliation,” President of TEDxVU Lexi Norcross said. 

TEDxVU’s mission is to be an inclusive and diverse organization that empowers the valuable voices of those who may not normally be heard on campus.  It also works alongside other organizations to shape what it means to be a Villanovan. It transforms this vision into a reality by hosting events that share ideas worth spreading, sparking necessary conversations and igniting positive change on and off campus.

The organization consists of two parts: the TEDxVU Conference and the Student Spotlight Series (SSS). The school’s TEDxVU Conference occurs annually in the spring semester. 

Applications are open to all Villanovans, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. From the application and audition process, to the rehearsals and event management, the official TEDxVU Conference gives Villanovans an opportunity to speak up and share ideas with the community and world. The 2021 theme is TEDxVillanovaU 2021: Solve for Why.

Applications to become an official speaker are now open and will be accepted until Oct. 18. Members of the organization encourage everyone to apply and audition for the conference, especially those of minoritized identities, as they aim to provide an equitable platform that lifts up the voices and ideas of those who may currently feel the least heard on campus. 

Student Spotlight Series events happen on a more regular basis and are only open to current undergraduate and graduate students. Any student who is interested will have the opportunity to share their perspectives and calls for action. Applications and auditions are on a rolling basis with no cuts. 

SSS has a more lenient approach, as it is not an official TEDx event, meaning TEDxVillanovaU does not need a TEDx license to host these events. Additionally, they host workshops to help anyone prepare to give an SSS talk or performance. The first SSS will focus on the themes of activism and anti-racism and will be at the Oreo on Saturday, Oct. 10.

“Don’t hesitate to contact us to figure out what you want to talk about and how you want to do it — we will work with you every step of the way,” President of the Student Spotlight Series Simon Brooks said. “We strive to make everyone feel included and valued as we unite to grow the community at Villanova through these Spotlight events.”

TEDxVU realizes this semester poses unique adversities and challenges for all members of the community. Therefore, it is calling on more people to participate in both of its initiatives. 

Both initiatives feature talent (art, music, dance, poetry, etc.) to provide a platform for Villanovans to share their gifts with the community.