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Don’t miss these ‘eye-opening’ TEDxDePaulUniversity 2019 talks

2019 TEDxDePaulUniversity speakers
The 2019 TEDxDePaulUniversity speakers presented talks in April 2019. Back row, left to right: Amanda MacDonald, Ellis Confer, Emad Mahou, Tyree Taylor, Bushra Amiwala; Front row, left to right: Meredith Ferrill, Enid Montague, Josh Fort, Lindsay Fredrickson.
Nine DePaul speakers delivered powerful TEDx talks last month before nearly 400 faculty, staff, students, alumni and local community members—the largest TEDxDePaulUniversity event since its inception four years ago. Now, videos of their talks are being shared around the world. 

You can browse the talks below or view all of the videos from TEDxDePaulUniversity 2019 on YouTube​.

The Office of Public Relations and Communications and the Office of Academic Affairs hosted the sold-out event on April 12 at the School of Music’s state-of-the-art Holtschneider Performance Center. Each speaker shared his or her innovative interpretation of this year’s theme, “Fast Forward.” 

Attendees had an exclusive in-person look at the talks, in addition to receiving TEDx branded merchandise, participating in raffles from local eateries and hotels, watching graphic recording artists interpret each talk and networking with other idea-driven guests. Attendees called this year’s event “inspirational,” “informative,” “motivating,” “eye-opening,” and “a phenomenal opportunity.”

The 2019 TEDxDePaulUniversity talks included the following:

Bushra Amiwala │ “Why you can’t afford to wait”
The 2018 elections saw unprecedented numbers of women joining the field to run for office. Among that esteemed group was Amiwala, now a junior in the Driehaus College of Business. She learned immeasurable lessons during her race for the Cook County Board of Commissioners—a campaign that drew nationwide attention. She shares the most important lesson of them all in her talk: “Why you can’t afford to wait.” Watch>>

Ellis Confer │ “Intergenerational teams as a force for change”
There is a lot of talk these days of people living in their own bubbles and lacking an understanding for other people’s points of view. Armed with examples from his personal life and more than 30 years of business experience, Confer, an adjunct professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media, asks us to look harder for our similarities in his talk, “Intergenerational teams as a force for change.” Watch >>

Meredith Ferrill │ “What I learned the year I tried to give up plastic” 
We all have times when we try to restrict what we consume – whether it’s deleting social media apps from phones, spending less time online shopping or maybe giving up sugar. Ferrill, a staff member in DePaul’s Department of English, shares her first-hand experience placing limits on something that’s present in almost every aspect of daily life in her talk, “What I learned the year I tried to give up plastic.” Watch>>

Josh Fort │ “The powerful potential of bystanders”
Fort is a graduate student in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media who has a background in philosophy and an obsession with superheroes. In his talk, “The powerful potential of bystanders,” he helps viewers learn how they can reveal their own inner hero. Watch>>

Lindsay Fredrickson │ “El Sistema: Changing the face of the American orchestra”
What happens when you start to question whether the discipline you’ve devoted your entire life to is actually right for you? Or if it even matters in the grand scheme of things? Fredrickson, a 2013 graduate of the DePaul School of Music, once stared those heavy questions right in the face. She discusses the important lessons she learned in her talk, “El Sistema: Changing the face of the American orchestra.” Watch >>

Amanda MacDonald │ “How we think is how we move”
We often think about treating the mind and body as two separate entities, but MacDonald, an adjunct faculty member at The Theatre School, says we should think of them as one in the same. In her talk, “How we move is how we think,” she shares how analyzing our movement patterns can actually help us make better decisions at work and at home—and maybe even help us be more productive. Watch>>

Emad Mahou │ “The cost of democracy: From a Syrian detention cell to a Chicago voting booth”
For most of us, political revolution, government oppression and forced migration are abstract concepts. We hear about it on the news or see it dramatized in movies, but have no personal connection. However, several thousand people have lived this reality – and Mahou, a staff member in Information Services, is one of them. He shares his personal journey to becoming an American citizen in his talk, “The cost of democracy: From a Syrian detention cell to a Chicago voting booth.” Watch>>

Enid Montague │ “How to improve a community’s wellbeing after tragedy”       
As a survivor of gun violence, Montague knows all too well that access to mental health resources are severely lacking for those who truly need it. As an engineer and professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media, she sees a role for technology in caring for humans at a very fragile point in time. She shares her ideas for making mental healthcare resources more accessible in her talk, “How to improve a community’s wellbeing after tragedy.” Watch>>      

Tyree Taylor │ “The power of love: A spark for community change”
Sometimes a haircut isn’t just a haircut. It can signal a fresh start or the promise of something new. Taylor, a graduate student in DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, reveals that a barber is never just a barber and that not all heroes wear capes in his lively talk, “The power of love: A spark for community change.” Watch>>  

To see photos from the event, visit the gallery here.