By Kristin Marakoff
The Furman Creative Collaborative hosted its second TEDx event last Saturday titled “Stories: the Common Thread of our Humanity.”
The event was held at the Peace Center in Greenville and served to explain the universality of stories throughout cultural and historical contexts. Lisa Cron, author of the book “Wired for Story,” was the event’s first speaker and argued in her presentation for the centrality of stories within human experience.
“Story is the living, breathing cornerstone of evolution,” Cron said. “Story isn’t a way we make sense of the world. It’s the way.”
This necessity of stories was articulated by each of the speakers, albeit each within the frameworks of their own experiences. Professionals from a great range of fields were present at the event, from singer-songwriter David Wilcox to the Gullah storyteller Carolyn “Jabulile” White.
Furman University contributed speakers as well, including Dr. Gil Allen from the English Department and Luke Christie, a junior majoring in Communication Studies.
The event coordinators and many students in attendance said they considered this year’s TEDx event a success. The onlookers were visibly sympathetic to the ideas of the speakers, who managed to elicit both laughs and tears.
“TEDx was a truly enjoyable experience,” junior Heather Erdman said.
“I was impressed with Furman Creative Collaborative’s work in pulling together the event, and I thought all the volunteers did an excellent job,” Erdman added. “I was challenged by the various and diverse speakers to think about stories and their impact on the human experience in new ways.”
TED is a nonprofit organization that designs lectures involving the top thinkers and doers of the world, asking them to connect their lives and experiences with the chosen topic, an approach TED deems “Ideas Worth Spreading.”
TEDx events (the x stands for independently organized TED events) work a little differently. Instead of TED choosing a topic for one of their three yearly conferences, the event coordinators in the community where the TEDx will take place design and coordinate the event so that the conference is reflective of the ideas of that community rather than the ideas of TED.
This TEDx event was coordinated by Furman Creative Collaborative at Furman University, which also planned Furman University’s 2013 TEDx: “Redesigning Education.” Both TEDx events were run entirely by students.