x = independently organized TED event

Theme: On Failing

This event occurred on
February 23, 2013
10:00am - 4:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Waterville, ME
United States

Two pilgrims journey from their village, seeking the advice of a famous sage. After many days, they reach the place of the sage. He asks them why they have come. To gain wisdom, they reply. The sage meditates. To gain wisdom, the sage says, you must make good decisions. And how do we make good decisions? the pilgrims ask. By first making bad ones, replies the sage.

In our society, success is prized above all while failure is seen as an embarrassment, is taboo. But success and failure are inextricably bound; to laud one while hiding the other ignores that fundamental link.

How can we live and work with the concept of failure looming above us? Does fear of it lower our potential? What can it teach us and contribute to our lives?

On Febrary 23, 2012, TEDxColbyCollege will explore new ideas through the lens of failure, with perspectives from across the academic spectrum and beyond.

Success and failure are two possible progressions of the attempt, and one is as valuable as the other.

TEDxColbyCollege is the first TEDxUniversity Event at Colby and the first in Maine.

Colby College - Ostrove Auditorium
5000 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME, 04901
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Colby­College events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Kelsey Park

Currently, Kelsey is a junior psychology and philosophy double major at Colby College. She is particularly interested in how psychology and philosophy are interconnected. More specifically, she enjoys studying psychology as a means to understand how individuals function and then utilizes philosophy to further examine why individuals function as they do. She recently had the opportunity to explore these and many other questions through her study abroad experience in Rwanda.

Steven Opgenorth

Steve Opgenorth is in his first year as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Colby College football program in the 2012 season. Opgenorth joins Colby after two successful season’s at Winona State University (Winona, Minn. – NCAA Division II). At Winona State, Opgenorth was responsible for coordinating the Warriors' special teams efforts as well as their recruiting efforts across the Midwest. He was also the program’s wide receivers coach.

Betty Palmer

Betty Palmer is the Executive Director of the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.

Tashia Bradley

Dr. Bradley is in her second year as Colby’s Dean of Multicultural Affairs and director of the Pugh Center. Before that she served 6 years as director of the Black Cultural Center at Berea College. In her spare time she is working to complete her first book, The Devil Must Have Sent You Here To Kill Me!, a comedic approach to learning about how various aspects of racial, cultural, gender and religious diversity impact our lives.

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is a Colby Alumnus and philosophy professor. philosophy department. He is an expert in argumentation theory, the philosophy of metaphors and language theory.

Shaquann Huntt

Shaq is a senior psychology and philosophy double major at Colby College. He was born in the Bronx, NY and raised by a single mother and a community of family and friends. Shaq spent most of his childhood at the Thessalonia Worship Center. After middle school, Shaq became an A Better Chance (ABC) scholar and was placed in a community boarding school program in Madison, CT. The program took him out of New York City and sent him to Daniel Hand High School, a local public school in the suburban neighborhood. After high school Shaq came to Colby. He is excited and ready to see where life takes him next.

Andreas Malmendier

Professor Andreas Malmendeir is a mathematics professor at Colby College. Originally from Bonn, Germany, he holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT and is is currently doing research on string theory.

Danny Garin

Danny is a senior at Colby College majoring in Economics. As a freshman, Danny was part of the team that won the Colby Business Competition.The company was called My Fresh Maine and at its height it had 15 vendors and 200 products, helping connect Maine farms to buyers. Danny is currently trying to find a buyer for My Fresh Maine.

John Kalin

John is a junior philosophy major at Colby College. As president of Male Athletes Against Violence, co-founder of Party with Consent and captain of the basketball team he is a familiar and active face on campus.

Philip Nyhus

Dr. Philip Nyhus' interdisciplinary research bridges the natural and social sciences to address human interactions with the environment. He is particularly interested in the policy dimensions of human-wildlife conflict and endangered species conservation. His current research includes biodiversity risk assessment, GIS-based spatial models and large landscape conservation. His first passion is protecting tigers and their habitats.

Aurora Kesseli

Aurora is a senior Astronomy major at Colby College. Originally from Milton, Massachusetts Aurora has been spending her summers at the University of Wisconson Madison doing research on Star Formation. Her current research is on galaxy formation.

Melanie Weiss

Melanie is the Director of Education and Programming at Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville, Maine. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and a former Dorot Fellow.

Eddie Kim

Originally from Daegu, South Korea, by way of Westport, Connecticut, Eddie is a double major in Economics with a concentration in Financial Markets and Classics. He’s recently returned to Colby after a two year hiatus in which he interned at Kyungpook National University School of Medicine in Daegu, lived in a frat house at Colgate University, and traveled around the United States. Also in those two years: A stint as a professional poker player.

Javier Montessoro and Joe Long

Javier and Joe are sophomores at Colby College. They are in the final stages of competing for a Davis Grant to fund their non-profit, helping deported migrants in Guatemala. Deportees often find themselves trapped between two cultures and two countries making it harder to have a life in either. Javier and Joe are trying to change that.

Organizing team


Chevy Chase, MD, United States
  • Ryan Cole
    Assistant Director
  • Tact Sasajima
  • Max Berg
    Technology Director
  • Julian Giarraputo
    Social Media
  • Melanie Ross
    Social Media