TEDx to come to Amherst

The event’s theme will be ‘Solve for Wh‘Y’’


(Collegian file photo)

By Alvin Buyinza, Assistant News Editor

TEDx, a local self-organized program of guest speakers, will stage a private event in Amherst in spring of 2019 centered around the theme “Solve for Wh‘Y.’”

Organizers of the event, officially known as TEDxAmherst, plan to host several guest speakers who will answer questions about why things happen, or the origins of the future. Ruby Ramsay, the executive director of TEDxAmherst, said speakers can apply the theme to their talks any way they would like.

The private event will be held on April 14, 2019 and will be open to the surrounding communities of Amherst, North Amherst, Hatfield, Hadley, Holyoke and Northampton. Attendance will be limited to 100 guests based off of a blind application selection process. Ramsay emphasized that this decision was made to ensure a diverse audience who will be excited to attend and participate. Applications will be sent out on Dec. 24, and the TEDxAmherst team will review them and make final decisions in March.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break at noon and will feature 90 minutes of several speakers presenting, with breakout sessions in between. During each breakout session, audience members will be able to talk about what they’ve learned from each speaker. The venue of the event is yet to be determined.

Currently, no speakers are verified to present at the event, but Ramsay said that John Jacobs, a co-founder of Life is Good, is a potential speaker.She said that she and her team should be able to verify the speakers by Dec. 24.

In 2015, TEDxAmherst was held at the University of Massachusetts and featured speakers such as Jeffrey Donovan, David Raether and Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew.

Currently, Ramsay and her team, including Marcin Knara, TEDx Amherst director, are working on sponsorship and outside support for the event, especially from the Five College Consortium. The team consists of students from all five colleges and the board of directors consists of several professors and community members willing to help out with logistical planning.

In the future, Ramsay hopes she will be able to plan more TEDxAmherst events. Next year, she aims to have an audience of 500 people.

Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected]and followed on Twitter @abuyinza_news.