What can you expect from a day with TEDxUppsalaUniversity?

We assume that you’ve watched plenty of TED-talks, but attending a TEDxUppsalaUniversity is different. It’s a live production. It’s MORE.

This text give you insight into what to expect. It’s built on what actually happened last year and what we expect to happen this year. We’ve tried to keep it a bit undetailed because we don’t want to spoil it 😉

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It’s cold outside and you’ve never been to the venue before but you’ve heard that it’s some kind of hyper modern lecture hall that was just opened the month before.

The info mail you got after paying your ticket said that the first speaker would go on stage at about 1 pm but that you were welcome from noon. You want to be early so you arrive just a couple of minutes past noon. To your surprise there are already people there and name badges and goodie bags are getting handed out as more guests check in. People are talking and drinking tea as people in black TEDx t-shirts are running in and out of the theater; “X is done on stage, can you go and get speaker Y? The film team want to check YouKnowWhat again”.

Time flies and you’re glad that you arrived early as you have already talked to several people and feel much more at home. Three speakers go on stage one after another and between the talks the moderator let the audience ask questions. You decide to raise your hand but the mic never arrives – there are too many questions and the moderator is forced to take charge to keep the event on schedule. Then it’s break time.

During the break you get to bring up your question with some people you’ve never met before; one is a student from Ångström, the next one work for the municipality and the last one turns out to be a PhD from Handels. Suddenly a photographer shows up and ask if she can take a picture “It will go on the website!” she says.

After the break it’s time for three more speakers and you unfortunately get a seat where the stage is partly covered by someone from the camera team. On the one hand it’s annoying but on the other hand it make the whole experience feel very real. These TEDx-talks are getting made NOW and your part of the making. You take a photo of the camera person and the half-covered stage and post it on Instagram.

Then it it’s food time and when you exit the theater it’s like somebody hit the party button. Suddenly the three rooms outside the theater are filled with activities and… [Sorry, not going to tell you more about the Event Hall now. It will be a surprise! Best regards /The TEDx team]. Eventually the volunteers tell you that you need to get back into the theater for the last talks. You protest. You haven’t thrown your stone yet [cliff hanger!]. The volunteer tells you that it’s ok and that the Event Hall will be open for one hour after the event too: “Last year people stayed until 10 pm but this year we’ve made an arrangement with [The name of the pub will be released later] so all of our guests, our speakers and we who have been working will go there afterwards”.

After the last sessions it’s past 7 pm and your brain feels like it will explode from all the new impressions. You stay around in the Event Hall for an extra 45 minutes before you decide to tag along to the pub. You get home way later than you expected after getting caught in an engaging discussion with two new friends. You’re tired but can’t help smiling and think “carpe yolo”.

Image: White Arkitekter