TEDx event scheduled in February has been cancelled

By Carlos Fuentes | February 6, 2019 12:36pm

The TEDx event scheduled for Feb. 28 has been cancelled due to multiple logistical reasons. Photo: Unsplash

Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect the group effort of planning the TEDx event. An earlier version of this article stated the event was Emily Sandoval and Kaitlin Yap’s idea. It was actually Ellie Jacob’s original idea to host the event.

A TEDx event organized by a group of UP students and planned to take place on Feb. 23 has been cancelled due to several logistical obstacles. The event was to include speeches from six UP community members. The cancellation was announced on Jan. 31 on the event's Facebook page, which has since been deleted.

TED is an organization that brings speeches to the public through live events and an online platform. TEDx conferences are independently organized speaking events managed under a free license, which TED grants to universities. At the TEDx events, chosen speakers deliver speeches and previous talks are showed, followed by discussion. 

Last summer, after getting the idea to host a TEDx event at UP, junior nursing major Ellie Jacobs was granted a license from TEDx to hold an event. Jacobs brought together four other students to help plan, including seniors Kaitlin Yap and Emily Sandoval, junior Chelsea Kau and freshman Iley Cao. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to bring something new to UP,” Jacobs said. “And it’s something that a lot of other colleges have…I thought it would be something that was really beneficial for the university.”  

Chelsea Kau, Kaitlin Yap, Ellie Jacobs, Emily Sandoval and Iley Cau (left to right) were part of the team trying to bring TedX to UP. Photo credit to Devin Ajimine.

The group created a Facebook event, chose six speakers and asked students to apply to attend the event. According to Jacobs, they asked people to apply to attend because only 100 people were allowed to attend the event according to TEDx guidelines.

But the group was ultimately unable to find a sponsor for the event, which is a UP requirement. According to Director of Student Activities Jeromy Koffler, this meant TEDx could not be approved unless a UP-sanctioned student group, organization or department agreed to serve as sponsor and take ultimate responsibility for the event. 

After consideration, the team decided they didn’t have enough time to meet the university requirement. 

“It was definitely something we did not take lightly,” Jacobs said. “Our team put a lot of effort into trying to do it.” 

Koffler said he believes the idea to host the event was a good one and hopefully there will be another opportunity in the future to host a TEDx at UP. 

“I know it was disappointing for people who were lined up to be speakers,” Koffler said. “With an event like that, we want to make sure that it is done well, and not that (the group) didn’t put forth their best effort, but with more time and more coordination and more communication between everyone involved, I think they could’ve made it really really great.”

Jacobs is currently working to create a TEDx club, which would allow the TEDx event to meet university requirements and happen next year. 

“The goal is to have one next year for sure,” Jacobs said.

Sandoval said she is grateful for the lessons in event planning, multi-platform media use and marketing this process provided her. 

“I think this was a good learning experience that not everything works out perfectly and sometimes you do have to take that step back,” Sandoval said.

Carlos Fuentes is a news reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at fuentes22@up.edu.