SLU-Madrid Hosts TEDx

At SLU-Madrid's debut TEDx event, "Empowering Ideas for a Higher Purpose," guest speakers and TED Talk videos evoked ideas of inclusivity, acceptance and belonging. Divided into three sections - entrepreneurship, cultural change, and creativity - the speakers addressed topics of critical importance in the current global climate of change and immigration reform.

SLU Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Jerome Katz, spoke on the connection between immigration and innovation. Mentioning well-known companies which were founded by immigrants, such as Google (Russia), AT&T (Scotland) and EBay (France), he emphasized that innovation is based on new ideas, and those who come from different parts of the world bring new perspectives. Katz closed his talk with the powerful statement, "Consider immigrants."

Other speakers included blogger Sienna Brown, who focused on the importance of being authentic in order to make an impact on the world. SLU-Madrid student Yeonhee Jenny Kang delivered a talk on the topic of third culture kids, that is, children who spend their developmental years outside of their parents' culture. Tania Menéndez-Hevia presented an innovative app she developed to facilitate communication between doctors and patients, while Alejandro Sacristán lectured on the interrelationship of virtual reality, technology and music. In an interactive presentation, artist María Jesús Cuesta López had audience members draw robots and monsters in order to demonstrate the way age and self-consciousness detract from creativity. The audience also enjoyed live musical performances by Sara Bencheikh ‘20 and music professors Gudrun Ólafdóttir and Francisco Javier Jáuregui as the Dúo Atlántica.  

Though touching on many different topics, the talks shared one common attribute: openness to others, whether it be respecting artistic creativity or hiring immigrants. In a time where openness is not always a given, as Jesuit scholars, we must speak up. The SLU-Madrid TEDx event spoke to the changes we want to see in the world today. A full recording of the event is available online.

March 16, 2017
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