“Technology, Entertainment, Design”: Thanks to alum sponsorship, TEDx comes to campus

Submitted by gallagm7 on Mon, 07/20/2015 - 1:27pm

On April 11, Western will host its second TEDx event. The theme of 2015’s TEDxWWU, headed by Western change leader Danica Kilander and entirely student-run, is WWU’s tagline “Active Minds Changing Lives.” “We want to showcase some of the community’s best thinkers and the ways in which their ideas will have real impact on the world,” says lead student coordinator Jacob Horn. “Western has a creative culture that drives its students and faculty to think differently. TEDx allows us to put their cutting edge ideas on center stage.”

The daylong public event, sponsored by pharmaceutical engineering and equipment firm Hanson Research with a $20,000 contribution, will be held in Western’s Performing Arts Center. The 13 speakers – with allotted timeframes of 12-17 minutes each – encompass WWU faculty, staff and students as well as local community members, and the day will include brainstorming sessions, music and lunch.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to support TEDxWWU,” says Hanson Research CEO Royal Hanson (’75). “TED is all about spreading ideas and collaboration around the world; it’s enlightening and empowering. And there are always so many interesting things going on at Western – it’s such a dynamic University. Whenever I’m up there I’m just amazed at the students, they are so dedicated and energetic. This feels like a natural vehicle to bring ideas and people together, to share hopes and concerns and perhaps even new approaches to solving problems.”

Hanson, who attended Fairhaven College during the turbulent early 70s, thrived on his time there. “It worked really well for me,” notes Hanson who has also recently been working with other alums to create a new social entrepreneurship and innovation program for the University. “Because of my time at Fairhaven, as a business owner I have a strong sense of social responsibility. We’re a small company, but we do business all over the world: I like to say that, as members of global organization, we are citizens of the planet.”

For citizen-of-the-planet Hanson, it’s clear that ensuring the presence of the TEDx platform at Western is an excellent fit.

Daneet Steffens
Author Title
Western Foundation