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January 16, 2013
By Stephany Kirby
The University of Nevada, Reno College of Business is sponsoring the inaugural TEDxUniversityofNevada, an independently organized TEDx program, bringing a combination of live presenters and videos to spark deep conversation and connections.
One hundred tickets were sold out within the first day for the Jan. 25 event, to be held 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union's Third Floor Theatre.
TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. Presentations at the University's event will focus on the theme "Creating Community Conversations" and includes 17 speakers.
"From start to finish, every speaker will potentially hit a home run," Bret Simmons, College of Business associate professor and TEDxUniversityofNevada license holder and spokesperson, said. "There really is not a weakness in the lineup of speakers. We had 70 proposals and we had originally only planned on taking about nine to 12 of them. We found such great applicants."
The day will include four sessions: health and hope; the promise and challenge of education; business and entrepreneurship; and bold ideas worth spreading.
The speakers for the health and hope session are Shawna Korgan, CEO of Korg 3.0 Movement; Matt Benardis, operations manager for First Warning Systems; Veronica Scavacini, an eighth-grader who raised funds to travel to Kenya to deliver water filtration systems; Mike Morkin, an emergency-room physician from Renown Hospital who was on duty the day of the Reno Air Races crash; and Leilani Schweitzer, a patient liaison at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
The speakers for the promise and challenge of education session are Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez, accompanied by Hug High School Principal Lauren Ford and one of her students; Fernley's East Valley Elementary School teacher and Nevada Teacher of the Year, Deanna LeBlanc;13 year-old Veronika Scavacini; 13-year-old Logan LaPlante; and 16-year-old Grant Davis.
The speakers for the business and entrepreneurship session are Ryan Dolan; CEO of Dolan Auto Group, James Kosta, CEO of 3G Studios; Laura Zander, CEO of Jimmy Bean's Wool; and Mark Estee, owner of the downtown Reno restaurant Campo.
The final session will be bold ideas worth spreading. The three speakers for this session are Brian Williams; College of Business graduate and founder of Think Kindness, Robb Smith, CEO of Chrysallis; and Grant Korgan, author of the new book "Two Feet Back: A Journey Sponsored by Love."
Simmons hopes that next year the University will hold another TEDxUniversityofNevada and have the option to sell more tickets to the event.
"This event is so important because it helps brand the community," Simmons said. "I tell the speakers that because videos of every talk will be posted to the TEDx YouTube site, although they are speaking in Reno, they are not speaking to Reno; they are speaking to the entire world and they have the opportunity to impact lives everywhere. I tell them to pick a global issue, identify an innovative solution and then provide a local example. The videos produced by this event will create residual value for Reno, the University and the speaker."
Stephany Kirby is a student writer for University Media Relations.