What if — these words defined Saturday’s TEDxUNC conference.
What if we could use manufacturing processes from the computer industry to build better vaccines?
What if we could understand why people act irrationally and could create the right incentives for self-control and healthier lives?
What if we could create business ventures that offer financial independence to women across the developing world?
For those who missed the social media hullabaloo, UNC hosted a TED-style conference Saturday in the FedEx Global Education Center.
The talk was organized by students and featured a pretty shiny lineup of speakers and performers, from nonprofit pharmaceutical company founder Victoria Hale to campus band Mipso Trio. And it was a resounding success.
I’m not quite sure what I expected going in. I spoke with organizers Rachel Myrick and Mackenzie Thomas at length beforehand, but honestly, I was prepared to be underwhelmed.
Sure, the videos at TED.com are informative and inspirational. But the TED conference is a multi-million dollar affair, with a select attendance and its pick of the world’s best speakers.
What could we reasonably expect on campus? And even with a good lineup, the question remained whether that day’s conversations would actually translate to impact on campus.