Tedx at Chapman University 2014!


On July 18th, 2014, a TEDx event was held at Chapman University from 1 P.M. – 6 P.M. This year’s theme was “Icons/Geniuses/Mavericks.” The event introduced the audience to a variety of speakers, each bringing a different and distinctive topic to the stage. Though each topic mentioned was, at a sense, different from one another, they all related to the central concept of being an icon, a genius, a maverick, or all of the above. 

This year, we were very fortunate enough to have attended the TEDx event at Chapman University. Because we would like to share our thoughts and experience, we decided to use a “Question & Answer” format to make things a bit easier. So, without further ado… 

Why did you decide to go to the TEDx event? 

Sophie: I decided to go to the Tedx event because Cindi informed me about this event. Having been previously introduced to the world of Ted Talks by our AP English teacher, I have always wondered if I could ever have a chance to go to one. I was, of course, really excited to hear people talk about something they truly believe in. To me, it was like being part of history. I was truly happy to hear people talk. I reveled in absorbing as much information as possible.

Cindi: First of all, I’ve always wanted to attended a seminar-like event where I would be able to discover something new. I’ve seen these events many times on television, so I literally set “going to a seminar-like event” as a goal on my bucket list. Thanks to my AP Language and Composition teacher, who exposed Sophie and I to the world of TED Talks, I realized that instead of going to any random seminar, I wanted to go to a TED Talks event. Luckily for me, the opportunity did come up, and I decided to take it. When I received an email about the event, I knew I had to go. Therefore, I told Sophie the wonderful news and we planned out our trip to Orange, California, which is an hour away from where we live.

Which presenter did you enjoy the most? 

Sophie: I was disappointed because my friends and I missed the first 3 presenters. We were waiting in line for tickets since days before the tickets were sold out online. Having said that, I would say Eyal Aronoff was the presenter who I enjoyed the most. This is due to the fact that he spoke of a solution to oil I never heard before. I hope the idea of using alcohol fuel instead of oil fuel gains a bigger audience. He was very informative and straight to the point. To me, he gave his point across with real purpose. I was truly interested it what he had to say even though I was quite tired from already hearing 8 presenters.

Cindi: This is honestly a tough question. I loved all the presenters and I learned a lot from them as well (if you don’t believe me, check out my notes!). However, if I really had to choose, I would choose Robin Follman. Before this event, I didn’t know who she was. Through the event, I learned that she is an “internationally acclaimed soprano” and a CEO. Her presentation stood out to me a lot. It wasn’t just because she sang an opera piece amazingly, but it was because she took her talent and that performance to make a point. She talked about her life story, about how she kept getting knocked down, about how she tried but was not always successful. In the end, she focused on the concept of resilience and how resilience can help get you far in life. Her entire talk was wonderful, and I would like to leave you with a short but powerful quote from Ms. Robin Follman: 

You can never knock me down too far.”

Which presenter or topic discussed surprised you the most?

Sophie: I was surprised by Laura Glynn because she was getting to something there. Does the mentality of women become affected by the effects of birthing a baby? And does the mentality decrease even more after birthing more than one baby? I would like to see a bigger expansion on that subject one day.

Cindi: Presenter Adam Spencer really surprised me because his presentation was about math… specifically prime numbers. When I heard about what he was going to talk about, I was petrified. I’m not a huge fan of math, so I wasn’t looking forward to his presentation at all. However, that is what makes Ted Talks so special; each presentation is captivating. Mr. Adam Spencer’s talk about finding the largest prime number ended up being enlightening and it all tied in to the idea that the mind and the technology that we have today can create beautiful discoveries. I found this main idea interesting because there are many people today denouncing the role of technology, but Mr. Adam Spencer is embracing it. In other words, this talk introduced a new angle at interpreting the role of technology to me.

Do you have certain ideas or thoughts that you would like to discuss with one of the presenters?

Sophie: To Alison Noel, I see what you’re getting at. To a higher perspective, I feel inspire to be a better person. Not directly to others but more specifically to myself. To be true to myself, and let labels stick and drop like a heavy magnet sliding off a refrigerator. To not let words and remarks phase me. There is a quote she said. Though I don’t think i’m the right person to quote her because she talked pretty fast and I didn’t take notes quite fast enough. It was something close to: “It doesn’t always fit but it almost always stick”. Or was it “stay”? Anyway, I’ll forever keep that in mind.

Cindi: I would like to discuss the side effects of alcohol fuels with Mr. Eyal Aronoff. I really like how he’s actually trying to approach a huge dilemma that is engraved in our society right now (our dependence on fuel/oil) and I like how he’s found a possible solution to the problem. However, do we really know everything about alcohol fuels or any other replacement fuel? I am well-aware of the benefits since Mr. Aronoff did a fantastic job addressing them, but what about the perhaps long-term consequences? Hey, I’m all up for better, cheaper, and more efficient fuel (since I’m a driver myself) but I want to be sure that I’m actually doing good instead of causing long-term infliction.

If you could do a Ted Talk and present it, what would you talk about? 

Sophie: I wouldn’t know at this point. Quite frankly, I’m a barely novice. Though I would say it would have to do something on the media, news, and the mechanism of “politicking”. I’m afraid for the future of my generation. Especially as we start to enter into adulthood and we can’t distinguish fact and fiction.

Cindi: Like Sophie said, I’m not quite sure. I barely got a glimpse into the whole process. However, I think I’m leaning towards to just talking about the daily struggles of  our society’s individuals. I don’t like to restrict myself, so I’ll probably approach a huge range of topics from subjects like Taeyeon and Baekhyun’s relationship to how our education system is functioning. 

How was the overall experience? (Give a grade from 1-5)

Sophie: In the way the event ran, it was a solid 5.  I was surprised that an independent Tedx event was happening within an hour driving distance. I was quite impressed with atmosphere and volunteer services conducting the whole Tedx schedule.  Everyone was polite and volunteers were well informed and as excited as we were. In experiencing the variety of talks, it was a 4. I was more interested in the videos of past TedTalks the MCs presented us. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, the videos were truly really cool. I hope Tedx 2015 is as successfully and even surpass.

Cindi: Definitely a 5 out of 5. Although we were a bit unlucky and had to miss three speakers, the rest of that day went smoothly. The event was coordinated well and there were no disturbances of any kind.  Snacks and drinks were offered, goodie bags with supplies were given out, the staff and volunteers were great, and the venue was beautiful. I enjoyed all the talks and the speakers. Overall, I just had a fantastic time and I really hope next year’s TEDx will be even better! (P.S. The goodie bags were awesome!)


If you are interested about this event or interested in attending a future TEDx event at Chapman University, please visit their website at http://www.tedxchapmanu.com/#about. The list of the speakers is posted on the site and in a few weeks, the talks presented will be uploaded as well! 🙂 


Here are some random pictures of the setting:







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