TEDxTrousdale, a conference allowing students to present ideas on a variety of topics, will return to USC this year as a completely student-run, student-funded event.
The event, which will be held Thursday, April 25 in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom A, is the second TEDxTrousdale. The first was held in conjunction with TEDxUSC in 2010.
Unlike the event in 2010, however, this year’s TEDxTrousdale is completely student-run.
Undergraduates Alison Kaprielian, Kevin Koeller, Erin Limlingan, Jasmine McAllister, Sarah Payne and Catherine Uong came together in February to begin planning TEDxTrousdale despite news that the Stevens Center for Innovation would not be bringing TEDxUSC back.
“TEDxTrousdale is completely student-run [and] completely student-funded,” said McAllister, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and economics/mathematics.
The organizers of the original TEDxTroudale selected seven speakers from 20 applicants representing various niches and topics throughout the university. Though this year’s pool of potential speakers was relatively small, Kaprielian said the organizers are already thinking about creating a more publicized, longer application process in years to come.
The 2010 TEDxUSC conference, which featured faculty and experts from a variety of fields, attracted 1,200 attendees in its first year. This year, however, the event will be more student-oriented and smaller in scale. The event, which will be held in the basement of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, will have 100 free seats available for members of the university community to come and listen to presentations.
“This year’s TEDxTrousdale is by the students, for the students,” said Uong, a junior majoring in business administration and East Asian languages and cultures.
Ian Murphy, director of communications at the Stevens Center, said that though members of the Stevens Center have given advice to this year’s TEDxTrousdale’s organizing committee, much of the effort is totally independent.
“[The students] haven’t needed a lot of help,” Murphy said. “They’re organizing it — they get all of the credit.”
Kaprielian, a senior majoring in international business and social entrepreneurship, said the name of the event represents the spirit of what the students are hoping to accomplish with TEDxTrousdale.
“Everyone walks down Trousdale once a day,” Kaprielian said. “We all pass Tommy Trojan once a day. Everyone comes together at Trousdale, and I think that’s a good representation of what we’re trying to accomplish with TED.”
TED’s motto, “ideas worth spreading,” also sums up what the organizers hope the event will inspire.
“Our goal with TEDxTrousdale is to leave our guests inspired,” McAllister said. “I want them to leave thinking ‘I have ideas too.’”