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You’re Invited—to TEDxSwarthmore

TEDxSwarthmore_theme_04.jpgOnly those individuals recognized as the world’s greatest thinkers receive an invitation to speak at the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The four-day gathering, whose name is an acronym for technology, entertainment, and design, draws intellectuals, CEOs, entrepreneurs, designers, and scientists from around the world to present ideas they believe can change the world. They speak to an audience, whose members currently pay $6,000 a year to be able to attend and receive mailings, networking tools, and conference DVDs. Since 2006, the talks have also been accessible for free on the TED, YouTube, and iTunes websites. By June 2011, the talks had more than 500 million online views.

It stands to reason that a conference populated by brainiacs would sooner or later attract the attention of the Swarthmore student community, especially when one of their own—Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action and Professor of Psychology Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice—is a three-time TED speaker.

So, move over, Long Beach, because here comes TEDxSwarthmore. In the interest of ideas worth spreading, TED created TEDx, a program operated under license from TED of local, independently organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDxSwarthmore, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection.

On Saturday, March 31, as the result of a student group initiative, the Lang Performing Arts Center will provide the venue for a group of 12 speakers—comprising faculty members, alumni, one parent, and one student—who will engage an audience of staff, faculty, students, and guests in a discussion of “What Makes a Good Society?” Schwartz is serving as faculty adviser for the group.

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