Technology, Entertainment and Design University of Pretoria (TEDxUniversityofPretoria) is a recently registered society at the University of Pretoria. PDBY interviewed Linnet Kimathi, the Marketing and Communications manager for TEDxUniversityofPretoria who said that TED granted them the licence to use their brand in April 2018 and that is “essentially when planning started”. Kimathi says that after the first TEDxUniversityofPretoria event on 19 September 2018, the founding members decided they wanted TED to have a longer lasting presence on campus. Therefore, TEDxUniversityofPretoria became registered as a UP society in 2019, after screening from the SRC. Kimathi says that there has already been a lot of interest and they have a lot of members.
TEDxUniversityofPretoria is an independent organisation licensed by TED. The x stands for an independent society that originates and resides within a designated community. There are many branches of TEDx that are found in various locations. The TEDxUniversityofPretoria society therefore had to get a license from TED, the parent society based in Vancouver, Canada. Upon applying for a suitable name, the society had applied to use the name TEDxUP. However, there was already a TEDxUP, where the UP stands for University of Palestine. Hence, TED required the name to be TEDxUniversityofPretoria instead of TEDxUP to avoid confusion.
“TED is about being multidisciplinary […] our mandate is to be able to go out there and to be able to introduce people to multi-disciplinary, [multi]faceted things,”
UP is an institution that is influenced and inspired by students from various backgrounds, with various ideas. Interviewing Malebo Nkosi, the vice chairperson for TEDxUniversityofPretoria, she says “this is an institution of learning, there are so many ideas” and TEDxUniversityofPretoria is about how they get these ideas out there and explore them. Further, Nkosi explains that the TEDTalks are about getting people to think about how to implement ideas and solutions.
The society seeks to offer the much-needed platform for sharing ideas and furthering the cause of societal awareness and change for the greater good. Kimathi says that the impact is to “create a community of people who are sharing knowledge” to get this knowledge out into the same space. She also explained that TEDxUniversityofPretoria is about connecting people. TEDxUniversityofPretoria is interested in working with other societies at UP.
says Kimathi. In the name of bringing the larger UP community together, TEDxUniversityofPretoria also plan to branch out to other UP campuses besides Hatfield campus. TEDxUniversityofPretoria has already started hosting events. One of their first events this year was called “Bigger Than Us” and took place on 24 April at the Conference Centre on Hatfield campus.
“TEDxUniversityofPretoria aims to “create a community of people who are sharing knowledge”
The event was a live stream from Vancouver, Canada which streamed to various TEDx societies located all over the globe. PDBY interviewed Emmanuel Amadeus Adu-Awuku, who is the chairman of TEDxUniversityofPretoria. AduAwuku said that TED “implemented this new thing called TEDxLive where […] people apply for licence to be able to live stream”. AduAwuku further explains that TED give respective societies “a license and a pass for the duration of the conference so that you can also stream it for your [society members]”. Adu-Awuku says that they could choose between twelve sessions and that TEDxUniversityofPretoria chose the session called “mind-shift”. Topics which the mindshift live stream covered included using psychedelics to treat PTSD and markers of unhealthy relationships. Adu-Awuku says that the event was successful and they had about 50 people who “really engaged”.
TEDxUniversityofPretoria has many more upcoming events for the remainder of the year. On 6 May they will host TEDxUniversityofPretoria Red Circle 1 which will reveal the theme of their September 2019 grand conference to the UP student community. This includes a talk session where invited members will share their thoughts about this theme and how they would want TEDxUniversityofPretoria to evolve. On 5 August, the society will host TEDxUniversityofPretoria Saloon, an event which will
“review the ground-breaking ideas that came out of previously recorded Afrocentric TED talks, both locally African and overseas”.
Of course, however, their main event is TEDxUniversityofPretoria 2019 which will take place in September again and include live speakers in a conference style, who will be recorded and uploaded onto the TEDx YouTube channel.
Photo: Elmarie Kruger