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TEDxLive comes to downtown Phoenix campus

Barrett, the Honors College at the ASU Downtown campus hosted its first live webcast of the TED 2012 Conference Wednesday, an event organized by a nonprofit that promotes its concept, “Ideas worth spreading,” through biannual conferences.

TEDxBHCDowntown, ASU’s version of the conference, featured live local speakers whose talks correlated to this year’s theme, Full Spectrum.

Sashaun Wood, program coordinator for the Downtown honors college, said she hopes students will be inspired to develop their own ideas after the event.

"Hearing from inspirational speakers that are doing these things and creating their ideas in the real world is inspiring," Wood said. "We have so many student entrepreneurs here that it just gives them the opportunity to see people in action."

The Tempe campus has hosted the event several times before, and Wood said the Downtown campus honors college became interested in hosting a TEDxLive event to decrease the commute time for students.

Wood, with the help of two student co-chairs and Downtown faculty, picked the live speakers based on their relationship to the downtown Phoenix community and their speech topics.

"We wanted to have a community member, faculty member, and a student as speakers," Wood added.

The three selected for the event included Jessica Boem, a Cronkite honors freshman; Matt Lehrman, an executive director of a nonprofit organization; and Patrick Grazanka, an honors faculty fellow.

Boehm gave a presentation on civic engagement titled "The Second Revolutionary War."

During her presentation, Boehm said civic engagement is needed in schools to encourage students to be active in their communities.

Through more community involvement, cities will have more voter registration and knowledgeable citizens, Boehm said.

Lehrman is the founder and executive director of Alliance for Audience, a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness of Arizona’s art and cultural community.

He focused his presentation on marketing and how organizations need to reach out to various audiences via new forms of communication such as Twitter.

"The opportunities are fantastic," Lehrman said in his speech. "We can grow audiences for now and for the future."

Patrick Grzanka, Ph.D. and honors faculty fellow with a concentration in sociology and psychology, was the third presenter at the event.

The event was organized in partnership with Barrett on the Tempe campus.

Barrett on the Tempe campus was originally the only group scheduled to host ASU's TEDxLive Full Spectrum event.

As interest grew, each campus’ division of Barrett joined the Tempe campus in hosting a TEDxLive event.

Each event on the various campuses showcased the second day of Full Spectrum, which lasts three days and was streamed live from Long Beach, Calif.

Wood said she would like to host more TEDxLive events on the Downtown campus, but it depends on the scheduled dates of the live TED conference.

Journalism freshman and event co-chair Tayllor Lillestol said the event was a great experience for Downtown ASU students.

"It's important for students to see the ideas TED is spreading," Lillestol said. "It's inspiring to see how far their ideas reach."

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