The Cougar Chronicle

First TEDx explores creative change

All eight speakers lined up after the event on Nov. 4.

All eight speakers lined up after the event on Nov. 4.

Martina Aleksandrova

Martina Aleksandrova

All eight speakers lined up after the event on Nov. 4.

Pamela Gomez and Sam Cabrera

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On Nov. 4, CSUSM student Nicholas Blaylock co-organized along with organizer Laura Wells the first TEDx talk in the Arts building 111 at CSUSM. The eight speakers in the event talked about shifting paradigms.

Blaylock said he wants to inspire CSUSM students to keep their heads high and have a sense of self-efficacy. The speakers discussed local, international and global issues.

Colin Finlay, a documentary photographer was first introduced on stage. He spoke and took photographs of environmental problems in the world.

The Secretary of Information State and Uber driver Sloane Trugman focused on privacy and policy. Trugman explained how most citizens do not understand how most of the information on the internet is not private.

Alex Liebeskind, a high school senior at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, CA, currently works with the Lynett Wave Research Group at UCLA. The goal is to predict simulations of the coastline and ocean systems to work against shoreline erosion and to find new and better solutions to the continued problem.

Michael Marckx, an executive for Billabong, focused on college students. Marckx said his personal experience in coming of age had shaped him to understand that life does not go as planned.

CSUSM women’s studies professor Cecili Chadwick focused on feminism. Chadwick said she wants to shift from a traditional setting in a household to an equal relationship. She explained how as a society the excuse “boys will be boys” has to stop being justified and start changing to be “good men.”

Supervisory Special Agent of the Cybersecurity Division in San Diego John Caruthers spoke about hackers and how important it is to protect and preserve important and private information. He said all the connections and outlets the internet provides makes one vulnerable.

David Shad is a graduate of University of Southern California and mechanical engineer. Shad pushed the concept of net zero energy that revolutionizes how energy is used and produced within buildings.

Maggie Kay is an advocate, author and founder of Maggie Kay Foundation. Kay was the final speaker of the night.

She said, “the pursuit of knowledge”  is important especially in Africa. She came to California for various opportunities and the lifelong dream to give Africa the education it deserves.

TEDx is an independent TED event that had to apply for a license in order to bring this event to the university. The event was sold out with approximately of 50 attendees, but livestream was available through the TED website.

For more information visit TEDxCSUSM’s website at

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