3 April 2013 - TEDxUMN is coming to campus - reasons to get your ticket now

TEDxUMN is coming to campus – reasons to get your ticket now

By: Ana Brzakovic

We hope you had a nice Easter and are having a productive week. TEDxUMN 2013 is approaching. This event is happening only once a year, so you better not miss it! If you didn’t get the ticket for this year’s event, you shouldn’t wait longer. They are available for purchase here.

We posted a list of speakers for TEDxUMN 2013 here. There are 10 speakers in total and they all have interesting ideas to share with you. In previous blog post we shared topics of three speakers. This week, you will find out three more topics! Without further ado, they are:

  • John Moravec,Researcher, Writer, Speaker, Author of Knowmad Society, UMN Alumnus, and UMN Ajunct Faculty, will talk with delegates about knowmads. Who are knowmads? They areindividuals with skill sets that allow them to quickly adapt to changing work environment and challenges.
  • Adam Moen, UMN Carlson School of Management alumnus, will share with delegates his story about finding passion outside of traditional role of employment through his start-up Real Empowerment Solutions.
  • WaleedIssa is a student at St. Cloud University, Palestinian from Bethlehem, activist and president of the Students for free Palestine, key leader in leadership program called ARK for Peace. In order to learn more and hear the story from this passionate storyteller (and nine others), get your ticket for the event.

This year’s TEDxUMN theme is “Where do we go from here?”.As we all know, there are many important research projects going on in our environment and at the University. What is more important is to know what do we get from that? How can we use and implement all the innovation and information that we get? On April 20th, at TEDxUMN, we will be talking about where do we go from here and where will all those discoveries take us? Join the discussion, be part of TEDxUMN 2013!

Get all updates on TEDxUMN Facebook page and Twitter page.

See you soon!

27 March 2013 - TEDxUMN is coming to campus - get your ticket now

TEDxUMN is coming to campus – get your ticket now!

By: Ana Brzakovic

Tickets for TEDxUMN 2013 are on sale starting today! You can buy them on our website and follow all updates on our facebook or twitter page.

TEDxUMN will take place on April 20th in Coffman Memorial Union from 12:30PM – 6:30PM. After the event there will be a reception in Weisman museum for delegates and speakers to socialize and continue discussing “ideas worth spreading”.

Price of the tickets:

  • Students -$15
  • Alumni, faculty, staff – $30
  • General public – $35

You must be wondering who the speakers are and what you will be able to hear about at the event. There will be 10 speakers in total, and each speech will last between 3 and 18 minutes. Of course, there will be interactive breaks in between speeches. Here is the first part of “speakers sneak peek”:

  1. Emily Cassidy, UMN graduate student in Natural Resources Science and Management, will talk about how changing diet can help us feed the world.
  2. David Ernst, Director of Academic and Information Technology in CEHD, will be discussing the future of open-source textbooks in education.
  3. Krystal Rampalli, UMN alumnus, will speak about medical tourism and how your health can be outsourced.

To find out about the rest of the speakers and their topics, stay tuned and check our facebook, twitter and web page regularly.

Don’t forget to buy your ticket, they sell out fast!

See you soon!

6 March 2013 - TED Prize 2013 - School in the Cloud

TED Prize 2013 – “School in the Cloud”

By: Ana Brzakovic

We hear often that current education system need revolutionary changes. TED is all about ideas and every year a TED Prize is awarded to an individual who has great idea, vision and motivation to change something in the society. This year Sugata Mitra won TED 2013 Prize. “By leveraging the TED community’s resources and investing $1 million into a powerful idea, the TED Prize supports one wish to inspire the world.” (

Watch Sugata’s TED talk “School in the Cloud”, see how his experiments with self education worked and tell us what you think?

More about TED Prize can be found here 

Join the discussion at TEDxUMN Facebook page

20 February 2013 - Some questions are not meant to be answered

Some questions are not meant to be answered

By: Ana Brzakovic

When we were kids we were asked who we love more – mom or dad. Then they started asking us what we want to be when we grow up. After that came which college we want to go to? What we want to do after we graduate? Where do we want to live? These questions never end, and answering them is never easy. There are so many choices that we have to make that will influence our entire life and that bring a lot of pressure along with the decision. Problem with decision making is that you find out whether you chose the right path only after you already start walking on it. You can’t know in advance. You have to start walking and have faith. Whatever happens, it happened for a reason.

Many things happen to us that we can’t fully control. Life puts us in certain situations without asking if that will work out well with our plans that we have already made. We face failure, obstacles and difficult life situation when we usually ask: “How did I deserve this?” and “If good things are supposed to happen to good people, why is this happening to me?” Again, answers to these questions are very hard to find. Maybe we are not meant to find them immediately after we ask?

In 2005, Steve Jobs delivered an amazing speech at Sanford graduation. He said:

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” and “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

Maybe answers to some of those questions raised at the beginning of this post can be found in his speech, or at least it can offer an explanation of why we can’t get the answers right away. Watch the speech.

What do you think?

Join the discussion at TEDxUMN Facebook page

13 February 2013 - What are the most important questions we should ask ourselves?

What are the most important questions we should ask ourselves?

By: Ana Brzakovic

Every day we face new choices. We get up with a whole day in front of us, like a big blank paper that needs to be filled with text, pictures, colors… What do we do? How do we use it? Or we let it use us by throwing at us all the things that need to be done? Some days seem long and never ending, so we are waiting for “something to finally happen”, while others go by so fast, not leaving us enough time to do all that we wanted to.

Annie Dillard said that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Sometimes we all are questioning our choices and asking ourselves if this is how we want to live. Big questions are in front of us and answers often hidden. By asking right questions and giving honest answers, we will be able to feel better and find a way which can lead us to fulfilled, purposeful life.

Tim McAuley (click here for his website) has a list of seven important questions to ask yourself (click here for more info):

  1. What brings meaning to your experience?
  2. Is this the best use of your time and energy?
  3. How do you feel?
  4. If you died tomorrow, what are all the things that you would do today?
  5. Whose day can you brighten today?
  6. What choices can you make differently today?
  7. What can you give today?

If you are questioning your decisions or thinking about your life, there is a very good video about three most important questions we should ask ourselves. Vishen Lakhiani says that if we do that exercise, we will have a better understanding of what we want from our life and what really matters to us. You can watch the video and do the exercise by clicking here. It is definitely worth a try.

After you have read about and heard what others think the most important questions in life are, you can make up your own list. How would that list look like? Which questions are there?

Join the discussion at TEDxUMN Facebook page

6 February 2013 - Are We Asking Enough Questions?

Are we asking enough questions?

By: Ana Brzakovic

How many times, while listening to a conversation of a group of people who supposedly know more than you about a certain subject, you chose not to enter the discussion because you are afraid you don’t know enough? Were you in a situation when you just felt inadequate to speak? Or were you in a class where other students seemed to understand everything and you felt embarrassed to ask questions because it would mean that you don’t? Even though there is a saying that there are no stupid questions, but only stupid answers, somehow there is always a chance that your question is so simple and obvious that others will laugh at you for bringing it up.

In this – –  TED video Adam Savage talks about how simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries. He talks about how ancient scientist practiced science without all the technology and knowledge gathered over the years that we have now. They had to rely on simply thinking. Therefore, sometimes simple questions can lead to new discoveries and new answers.

Albert Einstein said that he was not smarter than other people, but just passionately curious. Curiosity goes together with asking questions. No matter how “stupid” we might think they are, if we have the chance and the right person to ask it, we should not miss the opportunity.

If you had the unique chance to talk to someone in whose work and life you are very interested in, who would that be and what are the questions that you would ask? What are the questions you seek the answer to?

Join the discussion on the TEDxUMN Facebook page

14 November 2012 - Does education kill creativity?

Does education kill creativity?

By: Ana Brzakovic

A question that is being asked for years now is does education kill creativity? If we remember ourselves as little kids, playing with toys, talking about crazy dreams and ideas and compare that little kid to what we have become today, few decades later, the changes are big. It looks like all of us have crossed the bridge or went through the same tunnel and ended up in a different place. All those games, wishes, ideas, beliefs, trust seem so distant now. Is that good or bad?

Some people say that sometimes it’s better not to have experience because then you will dare to try something. Previous bad experiences might stop you and prevent you from attempting something new and different. How influenced we become after all the knowledge and experience that we gain from life? Does that experience stop us or move us forward?

Sir Ken Robinson is talking about how we need learning revolution not evolution. He is talking about very important question: do we really like and enjoy what we are doing or we just endure it? Watch the video here.  There is also a nice picture quote:

How satisfied are you with your education? Do you think it broadens your views or is it shaping your mind to fit the box? Are you learning the most in classes or outside the classes? Does one size education fit us all?

Join the discussion on the TEDxUMN Facebook Page

7 November 2012 - When you think about education, what comes to your mind?

When you think about education, what comes to your mind?

By: Ana Brzakovic

People will usually think about a classroom full with students who are sitting in rows and a professor who is standing up in front. By having that setting, we always assume that professors are the ones who have all the knowledge, and students are there to be passive listeners, take notes and receive the information. Is that always true and does students learn the most in this way? How would you like to see the classroom?

Watch whole video for more inspiring thoughts and tell us what you think:

Join the discussion on the TEDxUMN Facebook page

We all agree that education is crucial nowadays and that it should be available and affordable to everyone, but unfortunately, reality is a bit different. We are starting this month’s discussion about education. Since this week’s theme is Collaborative and online education, here are some questions to think about: How many hours per day do you spend online? How many times in class do you check your facebook or twitter profile or your e-mail? What do you think about spending time online in order to attend lectures from some of the best professors in the world? We suggest you watch the video and think about it. Tell us how you like the idea. Would you be willing to participate in an online class held by world’s top professors?

Watch whole video for more inspiring thoughts and tell us what you think:

Join the discussion on the TEDxUMN Facebook page

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