Looking Back at TEDxUNC

Last month, I was lucky enough to be able to attend TEDxUNC. The event was an independently (and student) organized conference featuring speakers on innovation and important issues. If you haven’t ever watched a TED talk, you’re definitely missing out. They are great little bursts of information, innovation and inspiration.

I really loved attending the conference, and now that the videos of the talks are finally online, I thought I would share some of my favorites. These are just a few of the great talks I heard that day (it was hard to narrow it down) and it is definitely worth checking out the rest of them. All of the videos can be found online at the TED talks YouTube page by searching for TEDxUNC.

Intentional Serendipity by Corey Ford

As a journalism student and graduating senior, this talk was one of my favorites of the day. Most of the people I know (including myself) have no idea what they are doing next year (which is, in case you didn’t know, one of the worst questions to ask a college senior). Despite my tendency to plan, this talk helped me realize that having it all figured out isn’t always the best plan.

Making Sports Safer Through Innovative Science by Kevin Guskewicz

As a a sports fan and someone who is repeatedly terrified by watching my brother play football, I was definitely intrigued by this talk. Part of what makes UNC so great is the fact that many professors are right in the middle of hot topics in various industries and fields. Guskewicz is one such professor and it was great to hear about how research being done at UNC is impacting the country and the game.

Living While Dying by Herrison Chicas 

love spoken poetry and I think that those who are able to do so are extremely talented. When I first heard this poem performed by a UNC student, I got full-body chills. And watching it a month later still has the same effect. Such a talented individual.

300,000 Colors, 35 Years of Design by Alexander Julian

As a graphic design major and a Tar Heel, I was eager to hear the local celebrity speak on design and color. For those of you outside of Chapel Hill, Alexander Julian owns Julian’s on Franklin Street, a fashion boutique with Carolina flair. It was great to hear about how Julian got his inspiration from Monet and his unconventional path to success.

Sankofa: Reclaiming History by Carolina Chocolate Drops

Before making their trip to the Grammys (I know right), it was great to hear from Carolina Chocolate Drops. I had never heard that type of music, let alone seen it performed live. Also, the story behind the music is interesting and extremely unique. Their take on “Hit Em Up Style” — love it.

If Not Now, When? by Laura Rozo

The conference concluded with this surprise and inspiring talk by a UNC student who has been diagnosed with cancer. It brought the audience to tears and a standing ovation, so my words can in no way do it justice. Another reminder to live life to the fullest everyday.

Again, all of the talks I had the pleasure of hearing that day are worth watching and I would definitely recommend checking them out.

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