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TEDxUIUC is an annual TEDx conference hosted by the students for the students. TEDxUIUC aims to bring out the passion, inspiration, and direction in the students of the U of I with talks by the very best leaders and achievers. Students and speakers combined spend a day surrounded by stimulating presentations, discussions, and entertainment circulating around a central theme.

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Ali Abbas Cole Hoover

Ali Abbas
Associate Professor at Illinois, Founder & CEO of Ahoona
Cole Hoover Director of Global Brigades Institutes
Connor O'Leary Daniel, Jeremy, Shawn

Connor O'Leary
Professional Cyclist, Amazing Race, The O'Leary Theory
Daniel, Jeremy, Shawn Co-Founders of Cracked Truck
David Schwartz Edurado Torrealba

David Schwartz
Student at Illinois, Founder of We Are Lions
Eduardo Torrealba Founder & CEO of Oso Technologies
Harper Reed Jean Driscoll

Harper Reed
CEO of Modest, Inc., CTO of Obama for America, Former CTO of Threadless
Jean Driscoll Assistant Dean for Advancement at Illinois, Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Boston Marathon
Nishat Ahmed Safiya Noble

Nishat Ahmed
Student at Illinois
Safiya Noble Assistant Professor at Illinois
TASC SpecialOps
TASC Special Ops
Chinese Yo-Yo Performing Group

Watch videos from TEDxUIUC 2014: In Pursuit here


Learn about TED and past TEDxUIUC events

What is TEDxUIUC?
TEDxUIUC aims to enhance the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community through a TED-like experience. It provides top thinkers and the most remarkable doers a platform to share ideas through presentations, performances, discussions and more at a day-long conference.
What is TED?
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, the recently launched TED-Ed platform for students and educators, the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide, and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea originally presented on TED’s stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Follow TED on Twitter or on Facebook.
What is TEDx?
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

TEDxUIUC 2014: In Pursuit

2014: In Pursuit
TEDxUIUC 2014: In Pursuit was about never settling in life. It was about always striving to be the best version of yourself in order to make your most authentic contributions to the world.
April 6, 2014
10:00am - 5:00pm

Past Events

2013: Initiate. Innovate. Inspire.


We'd like to give a huge thank you to our generous partners.

If you are interested in initiating a partnership, please

contact Najia Yarkhan at


Meet the team

Najia Yarkhan

Angel D’Souza

Christian Nam

Director of Art & Design
Theresa Cay

Director of Production
Meera Parat

Director of Technology

"The future already exists inside the minds of those who dare to dream." -Michael Callahan, TEDxUIUC 2013


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Champaign, Illinois