Thanks to the efforts of Oxypreneurship students led by Shilpa Bhongir ’16, Occidental College will host its first TEDx conference on March 29, 2014, built around the theme of "Reinventing the American Dream."
"We want to address what it means to live a successful and fulfilling life and contribute to healthy societies in a complex and interconnected world," said Sanjeev Khagram, John Parke Young Professor of Global Political Economy and advisor to the Oxypreneurship student club. "It will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with speakers, leaders and visionaries from our local community, across the United States and around the world."
The "American Dream" has historically remained a concept centered on individual ambition, independence and success. TEDx Occidental College will present the question: Is the American dream changing, and should it be? What is the American Dream? Who gets it? How do we get there?
TEDx Occidental will gather leaders from across disciplines to discuss their own ideas surrounding the "American Dream," and will begin a dialogue on where America stands today and our future steps as a global community.
A list of speakers will be available at the end of November. Ticket information is coming soon and will be posted on the conference website.
TED, a nonprofit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading," began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design. Since then its scope has grown. In addition to its two annual conferences, TED now includes the TED Talks video site, the TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The TEDx program is designed to create the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through independently organized TED-like experiences at the local level. The first TEDx in Los Angeles was organized in 2009; the global program has grown to more than 6,000 TEDx events in 90 different countries.
Khagram’s class in entrepreneurship and innovation inspired Oxy students to resurrect and re-imagine the College’s student entrepreneurial club as Oxypreneurship last year. This summer, the students with Khagram, club co-advisor Sherry Simpson-Dean of the Diplomacy & World Affairs Department, and Vice President for Finance and Planning Amos Himmelstein on what turned out to be a successful application for conference approval from TED.