Students at Haverford College recently hosted “TEDxHaverfordCollege: CROSSING BORDERS,” a conference designed to share “ideas worth spreading,” spark dialogue, and collectively stretch the scope of thoughts.
The student-organized event featured fresh, contemporary speakers who are creative thinkers and leaders in their respective fields.
Among the presenters were: Swarthmore College president Rebecca Chopp; former National Public Radio CEO Ken Stern; Lori Pompa, founder and director of The Inside-Out Center at Temple University; and Jane Golden of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program.
“We began planning TEDxHaverfordCollege at the beginning of the 2011–2012 school year (last September),” said Victoria Sobocinski, planning committee member. A committee of five students participated in the early organizing with the guidance of former Student Activities Director Jason McGraw and chemistry professor Helen White. “They were instrumental in pushing us to find a theme for the event, set dates, and invite speakers,” Sobocinski said.
TED is a nonprofit that started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, design.
“Working on TEDxHaverfordCollege was a great privilege,” said planning committee member Tamar Hoffman. The Tel Aviv native and second year student stated she learned how to “think big” in terms of honing her event planning and management skills and “was blown away by many of the presentations.”
“I loved Jane Golden’s charismatic presentation on the Philly Mural Arts Program. She was incredibly funny and had a contagious enthusiasm about her,” she said.
Golden’s presentation, More Than Just Paint: Leveraging the Creative Process for Community Revitalization, was given in front of a live audience in the Sharpless Auditorium and broadcasted live in the rotunda as well as online.
Tim Wilson, special advisor to the Maine-based nonprofit Seeds of Peace, presented What is Our Legacy?
Working with Seeds for Peace since its founding in 1993, Wilson has inspired and equipped new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding and skills needed to advance lasting peace.
He has been appointed by three Maine governors to posts including chair of the Maine Human Rights Commission, state ombudsman, and associate commissioner of programming for the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation & Corrections. Wilson also served as director of the state Offices of Community Services, Civil Emergency Preparedness, and Energy.
“The students did a great job of bringing together quality speakers that addressed many intriguing issues,” Wilson said.
Committee member and Dayton, Ohio native, Ellen Reinhart, is looking forward to putting to use what she learned.
“Tamar and I have talked about possibly planning another conference during our senior year,” she said.