By Rou Weng
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
TEDxMSU, an independently organized TED event, came to Michigan State University on Saturday, March. 31. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”, and TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
“It is the last-minute decision, and we started to prepare the event in March,” said Mohd Hafidz Ariff, director of events at the International Student Association, the major organizer.
TEDxMSU aimed at bringing together domestic and international students, faculty and staff to hear experts discuss topics regarding current and relevant issues on the “Global and Local” theme.
“It is the mission of ISA to break the gap between domestic and international students,” Ariff said.
The event came up on the agenda as an International Student Association project two years ago, but it was not easy to get funding. “We were very lucky to get money for the project from Office for International Students and Scholars ,” Ariff said with a smile. “The money cut the work by half,” he added.
Dany Masado, assistant director of public relations for ISA, first had the idea. “You can always get different perspectives on life from TED talks, and it is my dream to speak in a TED conference someday,” said Masado.
“Holding a TEDx event is like having a second job,” Masado said, “Fortunately, we have a strong team, ” Ariff said, “The hardest part is promotion, and we must make sure people come.” The staff members of ISA used Twitter and Facebook to promote the event.
“We decided to hold this event just a week before the spring break, and we were so lucky because the speakers answered very quickly,” Masado said. Nine speakers came to the event.
“We really want to thank those dedicated people, especially the volunteers,” said Masado. Around 20 volunteers were needed for the event. However, far more people were willing to volunteer.