TEDxCSUSM to return to campus


A team of five students and an alumnus organized the second TEDxCSUSM event. Five speakers will give TED-like talks to the campus and to guests outside of CSUSM on Saturday, March 23 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the USU Ballroom.


“The mission of TEDxCSUSM is to create a platform that celebrates the ability of each individual to impact their community. Our event is designed to fuse the ideas of thought leaders in our community that foster positive societal transformation beginning at the individual level,” according to the TEDxCSUSM website.


Quanjun Sun, marketing coordinator of TEDxCSUSM and an international student at CSUSM said that Tedx is an independently run event licensed by the TED corporation and that it is popular among colleges.


This year, the theme is “Press the Restart,” which conveys the message of starting over and how it is advantageous. Sun said that the theme came about when he searched for the word of the year in 2018.


“I was looking for inspiration, so I searched for the word of 2018 by Oxford Dictionary. In 2018, [the word] was toxic … but that’s not a positive word. We cannot say ‘TEDxCSUSM, the theme is toxic’ … I was thinking [that] we should look [into] the future, we should do detox.”


Sun said that the team was considering the theme of detox, but that it is hard to talk about detox.


“… either you talk about cleansing juice or you just talk about rehab,” he said. “…but I dug deep a little bit, ‘What is detox?’ It’s a restart, a fresh restart for a person, either for people who are using drugs or people who feel like [they] need to shake everything off and start a new chapter…”


This year’s speakers include Alex Banaga, Heather Conklin, Jeff Mata, Misti Cain and Dr. Greg Reid. They will convey the theme of TEDxCSUSM by sharing their personal stories or by challenging the audience to “Press the Restart” in social, civic or emotional issues.


Banaga, a user interface and user experience (UX/UI) designer who has worked with Mark Zuckerberg, will talk about Adobe and Photoshop.

Conklin is a political scientist and community advocate.  


Mata, a CSUSM alumnus and the only speaker with a tie to the university, is a motivational speaker and a blind athlete who is a three-time world gold medalist in Jiu Jitsu and who competes with sighted athletes.


Cain, founder and chief advisor of Whyzze, a subscription-based mentorship platform will talk about how knowledge is useless, according to Sun.


Dr. Reid is a national best-selling author who has spoken at the United Nations and at the Pentagon.


According to Sun, the speakers are locally-based. “If you’re having a TEDx in San Diego, you don’t want to invite someone [from] Florida. [They’re] all in the neighborhood,” he said.


The event is open to the campus and to the public, but there are limited tickets available for purchase for $25 or $40. Sun said that this year the event will consist of a tiered system.


“Instead of a traditional venue, [where] there are lines of seats, we are doing tables and chairs… If you pay more, you get to sit closer to the stage,” said Sun.


Sun said that TEDxCSUSM team is looking for sponsorships to cover the costs of the event. TEDxCSUSM is a non-profit event, but the team of students will use the money to cover the costs of renting the venue, food catering and other costs. He said that TEDxCSUSM’s biggest sponsor is Tesla.


Sun also said that the team is looking for volunteers to help with the event to monitor traffic, sign guests in and to “maintain the integrity of the production.”


For more information about the event and the speakers visit the TEDxCSUSM website at tedxcsusm.weebly.com.


To purchase tickets visit bit.ly/TEDxCSUSM2019.