x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Way Forward

This event occurred on
February 6, 2021
Greenville, South Carolina
United States

Join us for TEDxFurmanU's first ever virtual TEDx event! In its nineth year, TEDxFurmanU aims to bring a more diverse set of ideas to campus than it has ever brought before and provide multiple visions for the future during an unprecedented year. After an unprecedented year that brought difficult times to many people, this year’s TEDxFurmanU conference aims to give students, staff, and the Greenville community bold ideas that will define “The Way Forward.”
This year’s TEDxFurmanU speaker lineup will feature new and inspiring talks focued on a diverse range of topics, including social entrepreneurship, leadership, mathematics education, chronic disease, etc. Especially important with ‘The Way Forward’ is how people of different circumstances and life experiences see life after COVID-19. The pandemic has altered “normal” life and spotlighted leverage points for change within many systems. Our conference will highlight some of these points and also offer new ideas to reimagine these systems. For example, Shea, Reece, and O’Donnell will offer a vision for the future of business and leadership. Olivia McGuirt will discuss a reimagination of mathematics education, which is even more important given how the pandemic has impacted education. Finally, several speakers will look at how systemic issues are impacted by the current moment and look to the future, including gender [Oakes], food [Dudley], and differing abilities [Gibson].

Zoom Highway
Greenville, South Carolina, 29613
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Daniel Reece

Professor of Social Entrepreneurship
Reece is a lecturer in the International Business and Global Economics department at DIS Copenhagen, with a focus on Social Entrepreneurship, Transformative Business Strategy, Sustainable Finance, and Financial Ethics. He has nineteen years managing cross border investment structures, and cross border legal & tax advice, based primarily in Scandinavia and Europe in sectors such as real estate, tech, and leisure.Along with being a professor, Reece is a fanatical about music, nature lover, craft beer enthusiast, and amateur yogi. His talk will focus on Social Entrepreneurship and why it is important for the business world of the future.

Elise Dudley

Furman University Student
Elise Dudley is a Senior Sustainability Major from Charlotte, NC with a focus on food justice issues. During her time at Furman, she has worked, lived, and volunteered on numerous farms, devoted time to projects addressing poverty and food insecurity, and completed coursework in Denmark on sustainable food production and consumption. Elise currently is a fellow for the Rachel Carson Council and is completing her undergraduate thesis and research on leveraging backyard gardening as a path towards more resilient foodscapes. Curiosity and critical reflection drive her interests; post-grad she aspires to be involved with work that preserves our collective future and builds a more circular, equitable, and regenerative food system. Her talk will focus on crisis gardening and a vision for the future of local food production.

Margaret Oakes

Professor and Shakespeare Scholar
Professor Margaret Oakes has been at Furman since 1996, teaching Early Modern literature and Humanities courses. Her specialty is 16th and 17th century British literature. Dr. Oakes currently has a book under contract with McFarland Publishing on gender representation in contemporary Shakespearean performance, and an article with the journal Clue on Sara Paretsky’s detective fiction novel Hardball. She has also published on George Herbert, Francis Bacon, Dorothy Sayers, and J.K. Rowling. Dr. Oakes has been the recipient of many awards and honors: Furman Meritorious Advising Award (2002), Faculty Member of the Year, Association of Furman Students (2006), Sigma Tau Delta International Outstanding Advisor (2006), and the Princeton Review “300 best professors in the United States” (2012), and the Jerry G. Gaff Award for Faculty Excellence in General and Liberal Education presented by the Association of General and Liberal Studies (2015).

Olivia McGuirt

Furman University Student
Olivia McGuirt is a senior Elementary Education major from Greenville, SC. She has always wanted to be a teacher and was that kid who asked for school/teaching supplies for Christmas. Throughout her time at Furman, she has found a new appreciation for children's mathematics. She used to HATE math, but her view was changed when she took math methods here with Dr. Casey Hawthrone. Her education cohort and she were immersed in different types of teaching that helped them deepen our understanding. Since taking this class, she has had the privilege of participating in research with Dr. Hawthrone and 3 other peers, studying how students think. In addition, she participated in an independent study where she practiced some of these new methods in 1st and 4th grade at a local elementary school. When not working on schoolwork, she loves watching movies, documentaries and drinking coffee. Her favorite activity is taking a good nap, never underestimate the power of a good nap.

Sinclair Gibson

Furman University Student
Sinclair Gibson is a senior Health Sciences major at Furman. For two years, she interned at Emory hospital in Atlanta for two years where she worked with pediatric Lupus patients, studying their quality of life post their lupus diagnosis and the impact of race on the time it takes patients to be correctly diagnosed and treated. She is currently the 2020-2021 Evaluation Intern at Prisma Health in the Medical Legal Partnership division which works to connect families with affordable legal resources to help solve the health harming needs. On campus she works at a peer mentor for the Pathways program, offering a peer perspective on the college experience to first year students. “I will discuss how chronic disease and illness is disproportionately impacting minorities in the United States, and what can be done to improve the health outcomes of those impacted.”

Tiffany O'Donnell

Journalist + CEO of Women Lead Change
An accidental CEO. That’s how 25-year TV news veteran Tiffany O’Donnell describes her professional journey. Tiffany is an Emmy-award winning journalist who now leads one of the country’s premier leadership development organizations, Women Lead Change. Known for her accessible style and ability to connect, Tiffany is a dynamic speaker and thought leader who has dedicated her “2nd career” to helping others reach the unreachable. Vulnerable, authentic and brutally honest, Tiffany shares her journey from “No...to Yes.” It’s a journey that reveals how her pursuit of perfection nearly kept her from living a life she thought unreachable. She uncovers data that shows she’s not alone and that many women, in particular, share one common barrier. In her talk, she highlights the barriers and tips and tricks to blow past them.

Organizing team


Greenville, SC, United States


Greenville, SC, United States