Build it, and they will come.

Not long into my time here at UT, myself and seven of my soon-to-be closest friends were surprised to find that while every other big university out there featured a TED platform, UT lacked one. Knowing that UT is home to a unique environment of forward thinkers, intellectuals and visionaries, we were determined to fill this void. While we naïvely started off with this huge dream of bringing ideas together, we quickly realized that we had no power alone to make it a reality. Little did we know that this journey that we embarked on would consist of us battling some crazy odds, the wrath of bureaucratic associations, a slew of rejections and a bunch of stories of students before us giving up in pursuit. After a whole year of persistence, and not ready to take ‘No’ for an answer, UT finally recognized our vision and gave us the ability to make this event happen!

Our first TED event was held in February 2018 and featured thirteen speakers from various backgrounds; from students, to faculty, to local community members. Our inaugural event played an instrumental role in making us understand what we wanted TEDxUTAustin to be, an environment that ignites discussion amongst our community about novel possibilities and new ideas. Since our launch in October, the kind of passion and enthusiasm by students on campus and social media makes my heart so full. Watching tickets sell out within minutes of going live and overhearing people around campus getting excited about the event felt so overwhelming. Seeing audience members leave the event inspired, amazed and ready to live life with the new perspectives they learned, I realized that I find no greater happiness in the world than being part of creating such a meaningful impact in the community.

I currently serve as the co-founder, president and primary license holder of TEDxUTAustin, which has given me the opportunity to lead some of the most driven individuals ever, who share a never-ending sense of curiosity, initiative, and creativity. From liaising with corporate leaders, to understanding the politics of bureaucracies, to witnessing UT’s brilliant architects, production teams, and performers doing their work, to having passionate discussions with potential speakers, to emailing Matthew McCougheney and other greats, to meeting a whole community of TEDx ‘ers in NYC, to getting kicked out of the Bumble headquarters ~ the list goes on ~ our journey has been nothing short of a real adventure: full of learning experiences and with no shortage of inspiration!

I highly recommend checking out our event that will take place on April 6th, 2019 at the Mulva Auditorium in the EERC! Our theme is called the Origins of Tomorrow, which will focus on new ideas and innovations that will help bridge the gap between the present and the future. All the info is on our website: Any current Royals are welcome to reach out to me if they would like to volunteer!

Samyukta Singh || Biology || Social Inequality, Health, and Policy

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