Wednesday, 2 January 2013

More experiences to come for the TEDxAlgonquinPark Team

One of our team members, Laura McKay, talks about her upcoming trip to Palm Springs to attend TEDActive this winter

When I first approached our team lead to get involved in the planning of TEDxAlgonquinPark, I had no idea what I was in for!  As the Sponsorship Lead, I was tasked with bringing on new partnership accounts and managing current ones.  This was a new role for me, one that I’ll admit intimidated me at first.  However, somewhere along the way – with the support of some great people – I was able to succeed in the role.  In a span of five months, I was able to share some great experiences with six extremely talented and driven individuals. .  Our team garnered considerable local support and worked very hard to make the event happen, on top of our regular jobs.  And although I’m biased, I think we pulled off one awesome event!
I have been selected to attend a four-day international conference in Palm Springs this February, featuring TED's famous 18-minute talks.  The 2013 conference will host 700 individuals to share in “critical conversation, joyful exchange, and deep thought.” … Sounds like a plan!
This year’s conference theme is: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.  I will certainly meet contacts from across the globe who, by virtue of being selected themselves, are leaders in their schools and communities.  One of the TEDActive agenda items that I am particularly excited about are the project-centered workshops. Ranging in topic from social media to education, these workshops will be headed by leaders in each field.   The purpose of these projects is to come together as a TEDActive community to address the assignment and to challenge each other along the way.  I expect to learn quite a bit during these workshops, and look forward to the ideas that will be shared while working as a team.
TEDActive and TEDxAlonquinPark
I will be representing our small team at the event, and look forward to meeting other organizers from across the globe.  I plan to invest the time to get to know them and learn about their experiences while working on their respective TEDx events.  I will bring this knowledge back with me - this will certainly prepare us for our next conference!
TEDActive and UW
Attending the TEDActive will put UW on the world stage.  As one of 700 individuals invited to attend the conference, I will be also be representing the University of Waterloo.  In my experience, attending a conference is a great way to enrich the diversity of student life.  It is my goal to ensure the opportunity is available to other students interested in attending a TED event in the coming years.  These conferences help to put its students and societies in the spotlight.  The model suits the University strategic plan and current reputation as a strong leader in innovation. 
Over the past month, I've been actively working to find sponsorship in the community and on campus. I will continue to approach organizations in the coming months. 
Stay tuned – there will be lots more to share in the New Year.

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