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January 25, 2014

TEDx talks tech, life

NORMAN — Students and community leaders came together Friday to share ideas at TEDxOU at the University of Oklahoma.

“TEDx” is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark discussion and connection.

This year marked OU’s third TEDxOU event. The theme was “Hello World.” Attendees were encouraged to consider what they wanted to say to the world. Seventeen speakers from the Norman community and beyond presented short, inspiring talks to attendees in four sessions.

Speakers included: Session One — Philip Dow, James Simpson, Neal Walia, Jake Morgan and Nicole Jarvis; Session Two — Amyie Kao, Erin Engelke, Matthew Burch and David Ray; Session Three — Irvin Wagner, Matthias Nollert, Melanie Maguire and Kevin Carroll; and Session Four — Alex Reisner, Jonathan Stalling, Aslan Malecki and Akash Patel.

TEDxOU organizer said past events had led to new ventures, books and new classes at the university and told attendees to speak with each other and share ideas.

Philip Dow, an OU letters graduate and programmer, kicked off the event with a talk about programming and how it has and will change the world. Dow said the rules of programming really make one wonder at the messiness of the human experience. Dow also cautioned attendees on how technology changes society.

“We interact differently with technology than we act with each other,” he said. “There is a risk of treating each other like we do technology ... Technology shapes us and how we perceive and interact with the world. Let us think about how technology can add both richness to our lives and take it away.”

Nicole Jarvis was another TEDxOU speaker with a powerful message. Jarvis is a mother of twin boys and an ObGyn. She is also the founder of the Nicole Jarvis, MD, Parkinson’s Research Foundation Inc. Jarvis spoke of her experience finding out she had Parkinsons and how she has dealt with having an incurable disease.

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