Pacific to host inaugural TEDx event

A speaker stands on stage during a previous TEDx event at Pacific.

A speaker gives a talk during TEDxSanJoaquin held at University of the Pacific in October 2012. 

University of the Pacific will feature a dynamic lineup of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers in the spring of 2024 when it hosts its inaugural TEDx event on the Stockton Campus.

Ten speakers will be selected through a competitive process to share “ideas worth spreading”—the mission of the nonprofit organization TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.

The event will be held Saturday, April 6, 2024 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Faye Spanos Concert Hall.

TED conferences feature some of the world’s leading thinkers, innovators, musicians, philanthropists and others to give short, powerful talks which are then shared for free online. TEDx events are licensed by TED and organized locally to bring the spirit of TED to communities around the country.

“The idea is to bring people together to share a TED-like experience,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Life Josh O’Connor, who is organizing the event. “TEDxUoPacific will focus on highlighting local talent, students and anyone nationally or internationally who has a unique idea. Our theme this year is Disrupt, so we are asking our speakers to incorporate that in any way they choose.”

The event will have a mixture of talks ranging from 5 to 18 minutes, performances and video presentations. Breaks are intentionally incorporated into the afternoon to allow the audience time to interact with each other and the speakers.

“We want people to engage with each other and think about the ideas that have been brought up that day,” O’Connor said. “It's not just about sitting and listening. There is a call to action to the audience of, ‘how are you going to do things differently after listening to these talks?’”

Pacific is currently accepting applications from anyone at the university, community or beyond who has a unique idea that shares new insights, challenges perceptions or compels people to take action. A soft launch of the application site has already generated nearly two dozen submissions.

Speakers will be chosen by a TEDxUoPacific committee comprised of staff, faculty and a student who will work extensively with speakers to coach them prior to their talk. After the event, talks will be shared on the Pacific and TEDx Talks websites.

“We are thrilled to bring this engaging speaker series to campus,” said Pacific President Christopher Callahan. “It embodies the Pacific spirt of sharing innovative, forward-thinking ideas. This is a tremendous opportunity to foster new connections and spark insightful discussions, and we look forward to sharing this experience with the community.”

TED started as a conference in 1984 and became an annual event in Monterey, California in 1990. TEDx events followed in 2009. Pacific was previously the host site for TEDxSanJoaquin in 2012, which brought a packed audience to the university. 

Information on the speaker lineup, ticket availability and additional information will be shared as it becomes available online and through the TEDxUoPacific social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.