Shortly after TEDxPlymouthUniversity in March this year, we started thinking about how we could give larger audiences the TEDx experience and how we could engage people who didn’t necessarily know about TED.com as a learning resource. We had a fantastic response from the student population before the event with our student tickets selling out before the standard ones and then after the event with many students contacting us to find out about the next one.

It made me wonder (as a Plymouth Uni member of staff) whether we could support activity on campus which would cater specifically for students as the audience members and perhaps also as potential guest speakers so they could practise public speaking and talk about their own original ideas. I know from student friends who are TED fans that it’s not uncommon for groups to get together and put some TED videos on for the evening, get some food and chat about the ideas. This is exactly how TEDx started!

So looking through the Student Union’s society pages I can see Baking, Mixology, Harry Potter and Nerf, Vikings and Unicycling. All societies which represent the diverse hobbies and interests that our students entertain. They complement the numerous academic, political and faith / belief groups which students also support during their time at university, helping build new skills, friends and experiences. But no TED, and why not?

So my call to action is that if you’re a current student at the Uni, have some spare time and would like to create a new society that mixes politics, science, religion, human rights, debate and more all in one inspiring pot then send me an email at francesca.crickmere@plymouth.ac.uk. The full guidelines for starting a new society can be found here on UPSU’s website. Whilst a member of staff like myself cannot start a society or help to run it, I can simply connect students who are interested in running a society but don’t necessarily know any other passionate people who they could work together with. The aim is to link students up and let you get on with planning and running the society. If you needed any help with finding speakers, booking rooms etc. we would be happy to help if and when you asked for it. We would also invite members of the society committee to attend our TEDx committee meetings and provide a student perspective on our plans.

If you’re keen just send me an email and I will put you in touch with others who have also expressed an interest. I look forward to hearing from you!