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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

10th annual TEDxTufts conference to take place on April 13

This year’s conference will feature an exhibit exploring the past nine conferences of TEDxTufts' history.

The 2023 TEDxTufts conference is pictured.

TEDxTufts announced the speaker lineup for this year’s conference and a special exhibit that will be featured on the day of the conference. The conference, on April 13, is being presented as: “TEDxTufts Turns Ten: Refraction.”

The speaker lineup for this year’s conference includes Bernadette Dineen, Cristobal Cea, David “Dee-1” Augustine, David Delvalle, Dr. Miguel Basáñez, Dr. Natalie Rubio, Nikhil Vootkur, Peter Kaldes, Sophia Day and Supreme Hassan.

This year’s theme is “Refraction,” which has a couple of different meanings, according to Emma Dawson-Webb, a sophomore curator-in-training for TEDxTufts.

“We have a lot of talks that are [about] seeing things from new perspectives or ideas that had to change course, a bit like the refraction of light when it hits an obstacle — how does that develop into new pathways and new ideas? That’s what a lot of our talks feature,” Dawson-Webb said.

This conference is all the more special for the students organizing it as it is the 10th TEDxTufts conference. A couple of changes and the theme itself reflect this milestone.

Sam Goldberg, another curator-in-training, shared more details about the Memory Lane immersive exhibit.

“It’s essentially an exhibit to look at the past 10 years of [TEDxTufts], so we’ve contacted old speakers [and] old team members and also have been looking into our archives of memorabilia from [TEDxTufts],” Goldberg said.

There will be 10 speakers in total, including three invited speakers. Dawson-Webb explained that invited speakers are individuals who are invited to speak and don’t have to fill out an application form to become a TEDxTufts speaker. They usually have a direct connection to Tufts.

“Normally we only have one invited speaker. Last year it was [former Tufts University President Anthony] Monaco, but we chose three because it’s our 10th anniversary,” Dawson-Webb said.

The three invited speakers are Basáñez, Kaldes and Rubio. Basáñez is the former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Kaldes is the former CEO of the American Society on Aging and Rubio (EG’21) is the co-founder and CEO of Deco Labs, a research company focused on innovations in cellular agriculture.

Goldberg shared that the selection process for non-invited speakers begins with applications.

“We read through the applications. We also do interviews with a lot of our applicants. A lot of it has to do with subject matter, time relevance and bringing something new to the TEDxTufts stage that we haven’t seen before,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg and Dawson-Webb are curators-in-training as part of a transition for the student team at TEDxTufts. Arielle Galinsky, a senior, is currently the curator and executive organizer and has been training both Goldberg and Dawson-Webb to take on the leadership of the student team for the next two years. Both became curators-in-training after applying for the job at the end of their first year.

The curator position is held for three years, with the first being a transition into the position and the last serving to train the new curator. This year, two curators are being trained.

Galinsky explained the trajectory of the curator role.

“[In] the first year … you’re a curator-in-training, the [next] two years you’re running the show as a curator and then in the third year you’re training the upcoming curators,” Galinsky said.

She also reflected on her own experience as a curator and why she loves TEDxTufts.

“It’s been something that’s really defined my time at Tufts,” Galinsky said. “One reason why I love [TEDxTufts] so much is being able to provide a platform for others to share their stories [and] novel ideas.”

Galinsky explained the leadership skills that TEDxTufts has given her throughout her time in the club.

“I think [the TEDxTufts leadership skills] spilled over into all the other leadership roles that I’ve done and my entire Tufts experience — being able to provide different spaces [for people] to connect,” Galinsky said. “TEDxTufts amplifies [it] to an extent that is not possible in any other space.”

One of this year’s speakers is Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life’s artist-in-residence David “Dee-1” Augustine.

“I had been looking forward to the opportunity to do a [TEDxTufts] talk for a while now,” Augustine said. After asking his colleagues at Tisch College about the conference, he decided to apply.

He shared that his talk relates to a theme that he often weaves into his music and other public speaking events.

“It’s about the light within each of us and how to tap into that. You see so many people at odds and opposing viewpoints, and people that are essentially looking for reasons to disagree and not be on the same page,” Augustine said. “We need people to embrace their light more than ever.”

According to TEDxTufts, tickets to attend will be available for the Tufts community on April 1 at 10 a.m. and to the public on April 5 at 10 a.m. There will be two sessions in the Joyce Cummings Center Ballroom on April 13 — the first will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the second from 3–4:30 p.m.