TEDxPSU: The Calm After the Storm
This past Sunday had attending, listening, and enlightening like the world has never seen before at TEDxPSU. Seriously, I was 100 miles away at the time and I was contemplating life and all its wonders. But how do those responsible for its creation feel it went? I had a friendly chat with TEDxPSU Communications Committee Chairman Mark Poblete to find out.
Almost as if anticipating my first question, Poblete made it abundantly clear how he felt about the results of TEDxPSU. Considering the scope of the event and the fact that this was the first year of such a huge undertaking, Poblete said TEDxPSU was “an unparalleled success.” He made sure I knew about all the contributions made by the executive team, students, alumni, and volunteers from multiple campuses that made everything come together. He noted that coordinating alumni and students ranging from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. for TEDxPSU was “a big challenge.” Some didn’t get to meet until the actual day of TEDxPSU. Poblete said accomplishing all of this was “an extraordinary feat.” I was humbled by such commitment to a cause.
Once I recovered from feeling like a lazy impassionate jerk, I asked Poblete about the possibility of TEDxPSU 2011. He assured me everyone was enjoying a well-deserved break and the executive committee would reflect on lessons learned from organizing TEDxPSU. If it were up to the attendees, Poblete said, this would be the first of many TEDx events. Regardless, Poblete said there will come a time “to really start thinking about making things bigger and better.”
As far as TEDxPSU 2010 is concerned, Poblete felt there was an amazing connection between the speakers and attendees. The audience was hooked on their every word, and the speakers felt really engaged with the listeners. Even during lunch breaks, there were deep discussions between them. Interest in TEDxPSU was intense and the full house at Schwab Auditorium and lack of elbow room at the watch party in Thomas attested to that.
Finally, I questioned Polbete on what changes he would like to see if such an event were to happen again. He expressed the desire to generate even more engagement between new speakers, future attendees and the public in general. The means to achieve this goal would be generating buzz for TEDx all year round and ensuring every single commonwealth campus has the opportunity to experience the majesty that would be TEDxPSU 2011.