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First Luther TEDx Talks

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First Luther TEDx Talks

Anila Bano ('20) delivers her TEDx talk on the effects of climate change in Northern Pakistan

Anila Bano ('20) delivers her TEDx talk on the effects of climate change in Northern Pakistan

Tania Proksch ('19) | Photo Bureau

Anila Bano ('20) delivers her TEDx talk on the effects of climate change in Northern Pakistan

Tania Proksch ('19) | Photo Bureau

Tania Proksch ('19) | Photo Bureau

Anila Bano ('20) delivers her TEDx talk on the effects of climate change in Northern Pakistan

Leah Marxhausen, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, March 9, the Student Activities Council Impact Committee hosted Luther’s first TEDx conference in the Center for Faith and Life Recital hall. Two two-hour sessions were held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., each consisting of three speakers.

Decorah local Allan Manning’s talk was titled “My father was a Navajo Madicine Man. This is what he taught me,” Anila Bano (‘20) titled hers “When it hits home: Climate change and isolated communities” and Maddy Lomprey (‘21), whose talk was named “Poetry for Peace” spoke in the morning session as well. Jamie Herman’s (‘18) talk, titled “Money is a symptom of education, not the purpose,” Jack Jagielski (‘19) who named his talk “Winning the fight for your own attention” and Anita Tamang (‘22) whose titled talk was “What defines a good life?” gave their presentations in the afternoon.

Luther TEDx is licensed under the TED brand and is run almost completely by student organizers. Founder of TEDxLutherCollege, Massiullah Faqiri (‘20) feels that the importance of the event is to provide a platform for speakers to share their stories and ideas.

“Part of TEDx that makes me love it is its uniqueness in spreading the local ideas,” Faqiri said. “Then, all of those local ideas and talks will reach their online audience on TEDx Talks YouTube Channel which has more than 17 million subscribers. So, not only [will] it spread the ideas worth spreading, it also bridges us to the world. A small, yet powerful platform.”

The speakers were self-nominated and completed applications in order to present their ideas. The student organizers then reviewed and selected the speakers, keeping the focus on current students, graduates, and local community members.

Bano, who was a receiver of the “Go Make a Difference” grant in 2016 for efforts in her home of Northern Pakistan, attributed inspiration for her talk to the natural disasters that affect her home country.

“[The idea] came from my visit home last summer when I saw the effects of climate change [and how it is] really devastating the places there,” Bano said. “I wanted to make a documentary out of it, but I never thought I would give a TED talk.”

Bano spoke of a flood caused by melting glaciers in the high mountain regions of Pakistan affecting the local population, and finished her talk with a call to action.

“Climate change is a global phenomena so we should really work at it in a collaborative manner, considering that this earth is our home,” Bano said.

She emphasized the domino effect of climate change, explaining that even if it is not affecting our immediate surroundings, people should do what they can to help.

In the morning session, Manning described his experience living in Arizona with a Navajo family while Lomprey discussed the use of poetry in conflict in her talk.

The afternoon session began with Herman whose talk challenged the idea of money as a motivation to pursue an education and not the purpose. Jagielski shared his ideas about removing distractions in his talk, and Tamang discussed the ideas of what entails a good life using her own life as a point of reference.

300 students, faculty members, and people from the community attended the event.

Meron Abebe (‘22), who was an attendee in the morning session, was intrigued by the TEDx event.

“The common theme of engaging with the people around you was really impactful,” Abebe said. “It’s important to listen to the stories of the people inside and outside of your community and learn from each other. The three morning speakers all highlighted that.”

Ben Johnson (‘19) was inspired from the TEDx event as well.

“I am a huge fan of TED,” Johnson said. “It’s one of the most inspiring organizations on the planet, so I have always had dreams of going to a TED event. While going to a TED event is still on my bucket list, there are very few things I would have missed this TEDx event for.”

The TEDx Luther College event is envisioned to become a yearly event, continuing to provide a platform for speakers to share their ideas with the continued help of student volunteers and organizers who care about inspiring the student population around them.

The event will be partnered with the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement in the future.

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