Student’s persistence brings TEDx to WSU


Matt Crow

Puvindren Supramaniam applied five times for a license to bring TED Talks to campus.

Puvindren Supramaniam, an entrepreneurship student from Malaysia, applied five times for a license to bring TED – a nonprofit that shares ideas in the form of short talks – to campus.

“I have a passion for helping people and creating solutions,” Supramaniam said. “I read a lot of ideas. (TED Talks) is one step ahead.”

His persistence paid off. The TEDx program, designed to “spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences,” will sponsor a series of presentations April 27 in the CAC Theater.

TED began in 1984 as an idea-sharing conference. Now, the nonprofit has over 1400 TED Talks videos (all 18 minutes or less) featuring engaging speakers – Bill Gates or Stephen Hawking, for example – covering Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) and any number of other topics.

Supramaniam said there will be around 10 speakers, about six from campus and four from the community. Each will be given a 10 to 15-minute segment to speak. He said the speakers are still being finalized, but did divulge that student leader Kiah Duggins would have a segment.

There will be three shows with 100 audience members each, he said.

Supramaniam said he and his co-organizers are inviting student leaders to attend. There will also be a lottery to dole out the remaining tickets to students, he said. He said he hopes that the event can be live-streamed.

In between each of the three shows, fine arts students will perform, Supramaniam said.

Supramaniam said this is a chance to bring the community together to share ideas.

He said he hopes he can bond with the Wichita community – not just Wichita State – through TED Talks. He said the event will allow the community to “gather, share, learn and expand what they’ve done.”

“I know a lot of students at WSU have great ideas, but they don’t know where to go or what to do. Having events like this … I really hope all the students have something that can give them self-confidence and make them not worry about it and give it a try.

“I hope that’s what people get out of this.”