At 43,000 views and climbing daily, the TEDxUniversityofNevada YouTube featuring 13-year-old Logan LaPlante talking about "Hackschooling," is far outpacing the other talks now available online through the independently organized TEDx program sponsored by the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno.
"This event is so important because it helps brand the community," said Bret Simmons, College of Business associate professor and TEDxUniversityofNevada license holder and spokesperson. "I told the speakers that because videos of every talk would be posted to the TEDx YouTube site to remember they are speaking in Reno, but they are not speaking to Reno - they are speaking to the entire world and they have the opportunity to impact lives everywhere.
"I told them to pick a global issue, identify an innovative solution and then provide a local example. We had hopes the videos produced by this event would create residual value for Reno, the University and the speaker, and it seems to have done just that."
LaPlante introduces the community to a different way to learn in the video Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada, published Feb. 12.
He appears like most 13-year-old-boys, wearing a beanie and sneakers, in his presentation. He begins talking about his love for skiing and his feelings about the daunting question all adults ask, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It becomes apparent he is not, in fact, like most 13-year-old boys.
LaPlante's speech focused on his practice of Hackschooling, his homeschooling experience that allows him to learn things he wants to learn and the innovative ways he goes about it. He explains that from a young age he "hacked" his education in order to achieve his lifelong goal of being happy and healthy.
The University's 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 focused on the theme "Creating Community Conversations" and included 18 speakers.
The all-day event held in the Joe Crowley Student Union on Jan. 25 included four sections: health and hope; the promise and challenge of education; business and entrepreneurship; and bold ideas worth spreading.
Speakers ranged from a doctor in the emergency room the day of the 2012 Reno Air Races crash, a recent College of Business graduate who runs a nonprofit, and a young man who has used singing and songwriting to cope with his sister's drug addiction.
The videos can be seen on the TEDxUniversityofNevada YouTube channel.
The TEDxUniversityofNevada program, under the direction of business professor Bret Simmons, will be awarded the Entrepreneurial Activity of the Year award from the NCET at its banquet Thursday.