RUG will have a TEDx of its own

Following many other universities around the world, the University of Groningen will soon have a TEDx series of its own. German student Katrin Heinzerling thought it was high time and initiated the project.

‘I’ve always loved TED talks’, explains Heinzerling, who started studying chemistry in Groningen last year. But it’s hard to pick a favourite. ‘I think that would be the Hans Rosling talk about statistics, but there are a lot of other good ones!’

So when she visited a TEDxErasmusUniversity event in Rotterdam in March, she couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t a TEDxUniversityofGroningen yet and decided to organize it herself.

She got approval from the university itself and the TED organization, and even has frequent contact with TEDxGroningen to share information. Aren’t they competitors, though? ‘I don’t think so’, she says. ‘This is more of an addition. We’re like one big community.’

More intimate

While TEDxGroningen already has a huge number of attendees, the university TEDx will be limited to 100. ‘The event will be more intimate with better possibilities for discussions after the talk’, Heinzerling says.

The university is a great place to organize events like these. ‘One of the ground rules of TED Talks is that they don’t just cover one area of expertise, so we are going to use the main focus areas of research of the University of Groningen – such as sustainable society – when we look for speakers.’

The first TEDxUniversityofGroningen is planned for the 4th of March 2015. ‘And we are still looking for people to join the team’, Heinzerling adds. ‘It’s all still in the build-up phase. We have a couple of speakers in mind, but it is still uncertain.’