WILLISTON, N.D. - "Dream me. Build me. Make me real." This was the theme of TEDxMinot, which took place in Minot on September 20th. TEDx events are independently organized conferences operating under TED, an internationally known organization involved with "ideas worth spreading."
TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design" and has been bringing together speakers since 1984. The organization has expanded to attract presenters from many fields, and talks range from informative to comical. Above all else, the talks are meant to inspire.
Along with hosting national and global conferences, TED now provides the opportunity for communities to host independent TEDx programs. In addition to the Minot event, another TEDx conference took place this August in Fargo, which has hosted several TED events since 2012.
Minot was a natural fit for the theme "City2.0 - Dream me. Build me, Make me real"; the city-along with other communities in the region-faces a unique set of challenges. The website www.tedxminot.com notes the importance of the theme to our region: "Between losing many longtime residents from the flood and the growth from the oil patch, Minot has unique opportunities to determine what kind of city it will be."
One person who sees opportunity in the region's challenges is Williston native Serena Christianson. Christianson is the Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Business at Williston State College. She is also involved in a number of local businesses and organizations.
Christianson was selected to be one of the speakers at TEDxMinot, and she used her positive outlook on the area's challenges in her talk titled, "You Know What? I'll Keep the Change." Christianson's speech stressed that change is a good thing, even if it may not seem like it at first. "I drew on my experiences of here in Williston and everything in the oil boom," she said. "Regardless of if you're implementing or experiencing the change, I stressed that change doesn't have to been seen as a burden, that it really has positive effects, even if it takes longer than we'd like to see them."
Christianson was happy to be a part of TED, as it is something she has been interested in for a while. "I kept seeing it in different training sessions and I now use it as a teaching tool; it's this underground thing I kept hearing about and am now hooked on," she said. "TED is one of those organizations that, if you know about it, you love it. I'm hoping that even more people will become fans of it because it truly is an amazing organization to follow since it is so organic and genuine."
A total of nine speakers addressed the TEDxMinot audience, which was made up of a variety of people. "I was really surprised to see the variation in who attended," said Christianson. "TED is really something that grabs everyone's attention."
More information on TED and its programs can be found at www.ted.com. Pictures and videos of the Minot event will soon be available at www.tedxminot.com. For more information regarding TEDxMinot, please contact Serena Christianson at 701.774.4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For other information regarding Williston State, visit www.willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.