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TEDx a Day to Share Ideas at Northwestern

Students, faculty and alumni will present new ideas at public confab April 12

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Want an antidote to the obesity problem? Ever wonder why Pluto was ousted from the solar system?

Learn more when Northwestern University thought leaders from across campus and beyond gather April 12 for TEDx NorthwesternU 2014. 

Speakers will explore big ideas like putting mothers in the mix with doctors and dietitians to combat childhood obesity. Or how Pluto's demotion from planet status reflects people's everyday connection to science. (See the complete list of topics and speakers below.)

This is the first-ever inclusive TEDx event at Northwestern to feature students, faculty and alumni on one stage for a full day of talks. TEDx NorthwesternU 2014 will focus on "crossing paths" -- or how our increasingly complex world is driven by new collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking.

The TED organization brings together innovative thinkers and leaders from around the world. And its TEDx program enables individuals or groups like Northwestern to organize independent events in their own communities.

TEDx NorthwesternU 2014 will be held Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston. It will be streamed live in Fisk Hall 217 with a reception at the end of the event.

From nearly 100 submissions, the TEDx executive committee and advisory board selected 12 speakers who will present in three sessions. Nikita Ramanujam, a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy and co-director of TEDx NorthwesternU 2014, led the speaker selection process.

TEDx NorthwesternU 2014 topic titles and speakers are:


  • “Technology, Crossing Paths and Romantic Compatibility" by Eli Finkel, professor of psychology
  • “Pluto's Day of Reckoning" by Shane Larson, research associate professor of physics and astronomy
  • “No Child Is Born Bad” by Xavier McElrath-Bey, clinical field interviewer in psychiatry and behavioral sciences
  • “The Antidote to Obesity" by Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine


  • “Educating the Future” by Aysha Chowdry, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences 2004
  • “Schools Should Let Paths Cross More Often” by Stephen Dowling, Bienen School of Music 2013
  • “Human Rights, Sankofa and the Power of Paradigms” by Marissa Jackson, Weinberg 2006
  • “Relationship Analytics Change the Way We Manage Business” by Zach Johnson, School of Communication 2010


  • “12 Years, Huh?” by Parag Gupta, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • “Crossing the Paths of Culture and Human Rights” by Neha Reddy, Weinberg
  • “Why Little Red Riding Hood Was Wrong” by Michael Silberblatt, Communication
  • “Finding Your Long Lost Twin" by Jackson Walker, Weinberg

TEDx NorthwesternU 2014 Notes

Video of each speaker will be available after the event at TED

Corporate, individual and community sponsorships are available. To sponsor or volunteer, contact Michele Weldon or Nikita Ramanujam

For more information, go to TEDx NorthwesternU 2014

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