TEDx – the stage is set for research!

TEDx speaker on stage
TEDx speaker on stage © Getty Images / gorodenkoff

In line with its motto ‘ideas worth spreading’, the non-profit organisation (‘Technology, Entertainment, Design’) provides for a platform for experts to present their ideas. Independent events can be organised under the name TEDx. Speakers hold short talks (known as TED talks) from a wide range of topics before an audience. The lectures must be no more than 18 minutes long, and must be made available as videos after the event, allowing for ideas to spread further, for example via social media.

How does a TEDx event work?

A TEDx event has a particular motto, such as ‘science’, ‘superpowers’ or ‘democracy’. Topics can come from a wide range of fields including research, technology, design and culture. Each speaker presents their ideas related to the motto in an appealing, engaging and entertaining manner. The experts speak freely and move around the stage without being bound to a podium. Their talks are often based on the approach of storytelling, which means that their thoughts and ideas are linked to their personal story or to individual anecdotes. Many speakers will also present a simple PowerPoint presentation with images, graphics or quotes that illustrate their points. A presenter hosts the event and introduces the speakers.

What is special about a TEDx event?

TEDx events focus on inspiration and constructive contributions for a better society, environmental protection or technology, for example. The goal is to present solutions, suggestions, ideas and useful thoughts, rather than pondering on problems. The lectures form the basis for further exchange and discussion. A TEDx conference is also an opportunity for interdisciplinary networking.

Which requirements need to be met?

A must be obtained to organise a TEDx event. Certain requirements regarding aspects such as stage design and the publication of lectures as videos must be complied with. Organisers have to choose an event type, such as ‘TEDxWomen’, and a name, such as ‘science’, and draw up a programme. A TED talk video from another conference must be shown at the TEDx conference. TED provides further organisational support, for example through TED translators and by supplying subtitles for the videos. You will also need a room with a stage, a beamer for the lecture, technical equipment (lighting, sound, etc.) and a presenter.

Which target groups are suitable for the format?

TEDx is suitable for events at universities and research institutions, for students as well as for children. Topics can come from any discipline, and events can be one-off occasions or be held regularly.

Special tip

You can watch close to 4,000 of the world’s best talks on .

Further reading on the Alumniportal Deutschland

Researchers, developers and designers come together at a science hack day to join forces to solve a problem. The goal is to produce useful, creative, social or entertaining products (soft or hardware) or to develop new ideas for addressing future challenges in an interdisciplinary manner.

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