TED event to be held in northern B.C.

The event has received 111 applications, of which five to 10 will be chosen

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is getting ready to host a TEDx speaker series event later this year.

The independently organized TED event will be held for the first time in northern B.C. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short (18 minutes or less) talks.

The open call for speakers has concluded with TEDx UNBC receiving a total of 111 applications, of which five to 10 will be chosen.

Grant Bachand, president and curator of TEDx UNBC, said the successful applicants will be chosen within the next few weeks. He added that applications received ranged greatly.

“We’re seeing quite a nice mix of people; we’ve seen students, and all the way up to faculty,” he said. “I’m confident that the ones we’ll pick will be a nice mix and not just one set of people.”

The theme of the event will be “dispelling misconceptions.”

“We’re looking to take something that we commonly hold in society, or it may be a myth or some sort of belief, and present a new way of looking at it,” explained Bachand. “All the ideas that we’re looking at are things that reorient the way that we look at certain aspects in our society, whether it be in science or culture.”

Bachand said he hopes this will become an annual event in northern B.C.

“This has been my goal since the beginning,” he said. “We’re hoping that from the successful applicants of this event we’ll create a TED community in Prince George, and hopefully in other communities such as Burns Lake, so that this can be a sustained thing and people in the community will step forward and organize this every year.”

“We’re seeing such a great amount of support, not just because I have 111 applications in front of me, but also because we have so many people who are coming on as partners of the event, and so many people who just want to volunteer,” he added.

Although tickets for TED events can sometimes be sold for $10,000, Bachand said TEDx events are usually much more affordable.

“We’re still trying to figure out what the price will be, so we’re not ready to announce it yet, but the most they [TEDx events] will ever charge is $100,” he said.

The event will be held on Sept. 30, 2017 at UNBC. For people who are not able to attend the event, videos of the speakers will eventually be posted online. For more information, visit https://www.tedxunbc.com/