TEDx spreads to Paly

Addie McNamara and Phoebe So

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Palo Alto High School welcomes the creation of its newest club: TEDx.

“Our purpose is simple, but big,” club founder Andrew Lu, a junior, said. “[We want] to produce an awesome TEDx event here at Paly for the students and teachers.”

In order to do so, the TEDx club has already begun meeting in order to plan Paly’s first TEDx event scheduled for Feb. 24, Lu confirmed.

According to its website, Technology, Entertainment, Design, commonly known as TED, is an annual conference that allows participants to spread new and unique idea. Created in 1984, TED has since expanded to include two annual conferences, a video site, an Open Translation Project and TED Conversations site, a TED Fellows program, a TED Prize and many locally organized TEDx events. TEDx events involve speakers delivering presentations on a range of topics all related to the theme of the event. Paly’s TEDx theme is “Future of X.”

Lu had multiple reasons behind forming a TEDx club at Paly, including the fact that cross-town rival Gunn High School hosts a yearly event.

“Firstly, I love TED talks,” Lu said. “Secondly, … if Gunn has something this awesome, then Paly should have it as well — only we will do a better job at it. Lastly, I wanted to have something interesting to do.”

Despite the event being five months away, the club is still busy with preparations.

“We have been working on choosing a venue, getting started on marketing, contacting a few speakers and a whole lot of other stuff,” Lu said. “It’s all fun work, in my opinion.”

Lu said the event will take place in the Haymarket Theater and teachers will have the opportunity to sign their classes up on a period-by-period basis.  Along with classes, students with prep periods may attend the talks, although the TEDx license limits each talk to a 100 person maximum, according to Lu.

Lu said he hopes to gather interesting speakers for the event and has started to seek out specific individuals.

“I can’t say that we have any speakers that are 100 percent confirmed,” Lu said, “but we already have quite a few people lined up. This includes Dan Russell, director of the Google Search experience. Dave Flemming, baseball announcer of the Giants, may also come to talk, although we have to see what his schedule for ESPN will be.”

Overall, Lu’s primary goal for the event is inspiration.

“I want to really inspire people at Paly,” Lu said. “Here at Paly, I think we are doing too much thinking, and not enough dreaming. I’m just trying to balance the scale a bit.”

The TEDx club meets at lunch on Wednesdays in the library.