At TEDxDuke we hope that our presenters will spark discussion and curiosity among those in the audience. We want our event to be a catalyst for innovation and new perspectives. Some talks may feature breakthroughs in science, some may be personal stories, some may be persuasive arguments, and some may just be simple ideas to make us think.
At last years’ graduation, Duke President Richard Brodhead’s Baccalaureate Address centered around a proverb from the scholar Gu Yanwu: “Walk ten thousand miles. Read ten thousand books.” Using this metaphor, he urged the graduating class to use the knowledge they have gained during their time at Duke to make a difference in the world.
The purpose of TED is to share ideas and expand one’s own perspective, sort of like the idea of reading ten thousand books. The purpose of TEDxDuke is to connect these ideas to Duke’s future leaders, who will act on them to create a better world – walking ten thousand miles. In my application for the TEDx license I wrote, “While TED offers ideas worth spreading, Duke offers a place worth spreading them to.” We hope that the Duke and TED communities will help us fulfill our vision.