TEDx Dartmouth Speakers to Discuss ‘Paradigm Shift’

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“I’m hoping to learn which of my paradigms I may want to shift,” says Alice Hsu ’19.

Arvind Suresh ’19 and Alice Hsu ’19
Arvind Suresh ’19 and Alice Hsu ’19 organized the upcoming TEDx Dartmouth talks. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00) 

A runner. A corporate CEO. A college football coach. An underwater photographer. These and many more speakers will take the stage in Filene Auditorium on Saturday, April 21, for a daylong TEDx Dartmouth event. Sponsored by the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), the series of short talks has been organized by a group of students led by Arvind Suresh ’19 and Alice Hsu ’19. 

“You get all these interesting people in a room who can help you think more about ideas in an interdisciplinary way,” says Suresh, a biology major preparing to enter medical school. “It’s not always easy to get that broad spectrum of thought from individual interactions on campus.”

TEDx, a spinoff from the popular TED series, seeks to instill, according to the website, “a deep sense of curiosity in our community, increase awareness of interdisciplinary studies, and foster excitement for lifelong learning.” This year’s theme is “Paradigm Shift.” 

“We thought that broad topic would give our speakers enough room to allow for diverse views and interpretations,” says Hsu, a math major with a minor in chemistry who also plans on a career in medicine. “I’m hoping to learn which of my paradigms I may want to shift. What can I take away to re-shape my world view? I hope we create an environment where people are able to open up their minds to the speakers we bring to campus.”

The organizers invited nominations for TEDx talkers via social media. “The biggest challenge we faced was sorting through all those suggestions and coming up with a speaker list that covered the wide range of subjects we wanted to include in the program,” says Hsu. 

Those subjects include medicine, human rights, sports, education, business, marine ecology, psychology, engineering—all areas of modern life undergoing rapid change. The organizers have spent the past year or so interviewing the participants, writing short bios, gathering their photographs, and planning publicity. 

The website showcases the speakers’ interests and areas of expertise. For example, Pat Hedley ’83, an investor, adviser, and author, “reframes networking to make it accessible, joyful, and life-affirming, especially as one is starting his or her career.” Aaron Lit ’19 is “a marine life enthusiast and published underwater photographer who aspires to raise awareness of marine biodiversity through art.” Bobbi Wegner, a clinical psychologist and blogger for Psychology Today, focuses on “the impact of stress on kids, parents and families.” 

The TEDx student committee includes, in addition to Suresh and Hsu: 

  • Brenda Miao ’19
  • Josephine Kalshoven ’19
  • Heather Flokos ’19
  • Joseph Leonor ’19
  • Daniel Bonitto ’19
  • Makisa Bronson ’20
  • Alexandra Hunter ’21 
  • Vanessa Pinney ’21 
  • Wendy Kangethe ’19 

Admission is free and open to the public; reservations are advised. The event will be livestreamed here

Charlotte Albright can be reached at charlotte.e.albright@dartmouth.edu.

Charlotte Albright