UCD joins TEDx Club

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UCD joined the TEDx club in June by organising a day of TED-style inspirational talks by former students.

TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, which started as a conference in California 26 years ago. It created the TEDx programme to bring people together to share TED experiences through local, self-organised events.

TEDxUCD combined live speakers with TED Talks on video. The theme was foresight and UCD wheeled out some of its best and brightest alumni. Each had to pick just one word to describe their talk.

UCD Economist Karl Whelan talked about Default, while Dr Rhona Mahony talked about Courage. As the first woman master of our national maternity hospital, Dr Mahony needed buckets of courage when she faced Dáil hearings recently into the thorny issues surrounding the termination of pregnancy when a woman’s life is threatened by it.

“As a UCD graduate, I am delighted to be involved in the first ever TEDxUCD event,” she said. “It’s a great platform for people to share ideas and it offers me an opportunity to meet the UCD community and to listen to the reflections of other guest speakers.”

Another speaker was UCD Elite athlete Claire Lambe, who had just finished her final exams in engineering. Lambe was thrilled to speak about her ambition to make the Irish rowing squad for the Rio 2016 Olympics. “It is a great way to finish off my last year as an undergraduate engineering student at UCD,” she said.

UCD Psychology Lecturer Gary O’Reilly from Temple Street Children’s hospital spoke about Generosity. Lauren Shinkwin, a UCD postgraduate student, spoke about her passion for animal conservation.

This was the third TEDx event to be held in Ireland following TEDx events at the Science Gallery and IT Tallaght.

By Shan Kelly