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TEDx at Hokkai-Gakuen University

I presented a poster at the 2013 JACET 52nd International Convention in Kyoto last weekend and came across a professor at Hokkai-Gakuen University in Sapporo who, along with her students and other faculty, organized a TEDx event at their university last year.

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Professor Yukie Ueno, faculty of the Department of Law, was presenting a poster session on the TEDx event, and being a TED fan I approached her to get more information on the project. Professor Ueno told me that the level of commitment and enthusiasm she witnessed in her students surpassed all the teachers’ expectations. Upon completion of the event, the students claimed “that their hopes for enhanced English skills and a strengthened cultural awareness had been achieved.” They also commented that “the TEDxHGU even had given them a hands-on English language experience in the real world, with a true audience, and at an authentic occasion, all of which are different from in-class activities, lectures, and even internships.”


According to Prof. Ueno, the process of getting TED authorization is quite simple, but that’s the only easy step in what proved to be long, arduous preparation. The theme of their event was “Open Yourself“, and as Professor Ueno tells it, the students really did the bulk of the work. Once the regional TEDx supervisor was contacted and the application for the TEDx license (free and valid for one year!) was granted, a topic was chosen and the students set about writing, rehearsing and preparing slides for their 18 minute presentations. On the day of the actual event, the students filmed the whole evening, edited and uploaded the footage to YouTube, and then linked it to the TEDx site. In addition, local companies and organizations were approached about donating resources and funds to the event and Prof. Ueno was pleased to report that a number of companies obliged.

So, a question stands: will you be the first to organize a TEDx event at your university?

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