April 6, 2011

Advance Notice

TEDx conference coming to Emory

The influential TED conference on education and technology will be coming to Emory in the form of an independently organized event. A group of Emory students have put together a diverse panel of speakers for the TEDxEmory conference, taking place April 23 from noon to 7 p.m.

Licensing their name from the original, independently organized TED events, TEDx conferences take place around the globe. TEDxEmory will be the first for the University.

"Our speakers are from extremely varied fields, from an expert on primate psychology to an entrepreneur in Atlanta," says Emory College sophomore Ishaan Jalan, the founder of the TEDxEmory group, charged with organizing the conference.

The theme of the conference will be "Experience Eternity." The confirmed roster of speakers include: political campaign consultant and business leader David Wilhelm; Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior Frans de Waal; Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics Ken Ono; Distinguished Chair of Neuroeconomics Gregory Berns; business school professor Maura Bellieveau; and entrepreneur Sanjay Parekh.

Wilhelm was a campaign manager for former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Illinois Sen. Paul Simon, and former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

De Waal's research focuses on the social behavior of primates, learning patterns, conflict resolution, cooperation, food-sharing and play.

Ono has recently discovered a finite formula for computing partition numbers, a 500-year-old equation.

Berns is the author of "Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently" and is regarded as one of the leading scholars in the field of neuroeconomics.

Bellieveau has spent much of her academic career studying pay equity, salary fairness, job market diversity and gender inequality in the American workforce.

Parekh is the founder of Startup Riot, named by CNN as "speed dating for entrepreneurs" and one of the first opportunities for angel investors outside of Silicon Valley.

TEDxEmory will also give student speakers a chance to share the stage with the panelists, as one or two students will be selected from a speaker competition held recently on campus.

As a follower of the original TED conferences, held every year in Long Beach and Palm Springs, Calif., TEDxEmory organizer Jalan says he felt inspired to spur intellectual growth and conversation within the Emory community.

"I wanted to expose Emory students to the leading thinkers of the world and the dedication with which they pursue their passions," he says. "I hope the conference will empower students to positively impact the communities they live in; much like the way our speakers are impacting the world in their own respective ways."

The conference will take place at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building auditorium, and tickets are now available online. For more information, visit or get updates on Facebook or Twitter.

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