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Creating a university

of ideas One good idea deserves another … and another. That was the premise behind TEDxBGSU, a one-day conference that brought 18 wildly different experts from across the country together on campus — all in the name of curiosity. “To us, TEDx was really about ideas worth sharing and bringing cutting-edge ideas to BGSU,” said Skyler Rogers, a senior majoring in finance and marketing from Kenton, Ohio, who curated the event. TEDx is an independently organized, licensed version of the popular TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference that dates back to 1984. TED talks by some of the world’s greatest thinkers and doers — each limited to 18 minutes — have been viewed more than 500 million times online at “What’s cool is that they’re all over the place in terms of content and subject matter,” Rogers said. At BGSU, that meant the CEO of Fortune 500 company Owens Corning appeared on the same stage as a magician.

Other speakers addressed topics as diverse as community gardens, animatronics, and adapting satellite technology to save the world’s tigers and gorillas. More than 600 people gathered in Kobacker Hall for the presentations, which can be seen at The overall success, combined with the fact that BGSU was the first university in the state to host a TEDx event, had BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey excited. “It shows that we are on the forefront of what is going on in the United States and across the world in terms of creativity and innovation,” she said. TEDxBGSU gave students access to new ideas while also allowing them to network with today’s leaders, and perhaps spurred them on to take leadership roles. “I’m just so proud to be here and pleased to work with such outstanding students who can organize and implement such a high-caliber event for the University,” Mazey said.

BGSU Magazine 17

BGSU Magazine Winter 2011