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TEDxIIT 2018 is back !!
Welcome back! There are some things you don’t learn in the classroom.

Aaaand we are back! Phew! It’s been a while but good news everyone… The TEDxIIT 2018 team is back for another extraordinary year! 

I’ve received many inquiries about what is TEDxIIT, how does it work, why should one get involved, and why do we keep doing it every year. I think this is a perfect opportunity to share with you briefly on how we do all the organizing for the TEDx event each year on campus and why we continue to organize it each year.

For starters, to give you an idea, TEDx is a branch of and if you are not familiar with TED (Short for Technology, Entertainment, and Design) please head over to their website and get ready to be amazed about the infinite things you can learn from TED talks.

Founded by IIT Alumna Amy Lee Segami in 2010, TEDxIIT is the longest running independently organized TED Event in Chicagoland. This will be our 8th consecutive year hosting the TEDxIIT event.

The organizing team consist of IIT students, Professors, Alumni, and outer greater IIT Chicago community.

Currently we have about 8 committees in place. We meet weekly as a team and each committee meets at their own time to plan. Starting with our Fundraising Committee, Marketing/PR Committee, Production, Speaker Committee, Volunteer Committee, Webmaster Committee, and of course we can not forget our Advisory Board that helps guide with their expertise to plan the event.

The idea is to host a one day event and serve as a platform for 14 speakers that are chosen to share an idea worth spreading.

Their story in hopes to inspire and be a life changing experience for the audience. All of this takes place here at the IIT Tower on campus each Spring.

One of the things that makes TEDxIIT a unique organization apart from being associated with TED talks, is the skill set that is learned from being part of it-which inspired me to title this post exactly that: There are some things that you do not learn in the classroom. Here are some of the key skills that TEDxIIT offers, which can hopefully inspire you to why you should be part of the organizing team, and if you don’t believe me, come and see for yourself!


  • It offers you an opportunity to network with alumni, professionals and TEDxIIT Speakers. I mean really, when do you have the opportunity to have these groups together all in one from different fields and build meaningful relationships.
  • It offers you an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new. It’s a journey of self discovery. This is a real chance to see what you are capable of and in the process discover skills about yourself that you didn’t know you had. Once you graduate from college and you go and get your dream job, so much will be demanded of you. Technical skills are important, but if you do not have the soft skills, you will struggle.
  • It teaches you to appreciate the diversity of your peers and to make lifelong friendships! I can’t count how many friends I have from different parts of the world. We are very lucky to have such a large diverse student body where we can learn from one another, it’s a culture and ideas exchange. If you have not met, nor interacted with other students from outside of your fields and culture, I challenge you to do so, share perspectives and see all that you will learn.
  • Communication is key! We hear this all the time and this is especially important when you get out there and search for a job. How to be more confident about your skills  and what can you bring to the table to the company to make you a more valuable individual. Talk to your boss about TED Talks and all you’ve learned and see what happens! (but really do it lol)


Interested? Please sign up here (Link to involvement form) or send us an email at

Leave us a comment, and like us on social media, we’d love to hear from you!

Let’s have a great year ahead!


Yoetzin Diaz is the TEDxIIT Advisory Chair. She has been involved with TEDxIIT since 2012 while she was a freshman in the Architecture program at IIT. She has served many roles thru the years and was invited to attend TED Fest 2017.


Vote for Ideas

The deadline for TEDxIIT 2017 speaker nomination was on Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:59 pm. With almost 60 nominations, the next big step is to select the speakers from each of the category: Alumni, Students, Faculty and Greater Community.

Given the short timespan this year, we are glad to have a very impressive list of ideas. Now the challenging task is to select only a handful of Exclamation ideas worth spreading for TEDxIIT 2017. As we are in the greatest democracy of the world, our process is the exact reflection of it.

The speaker selection process will be held at IIT Tower Auditorium on March 2 starting at 5 pm. This is an open meeting for all who wish to attend.

Every nominator has the option to pitch for the nominee. Each pitch can be up to 2 minutes to focus on the idea and the speaker. After the pitch, the team will present the ideas which have no presenters. There will be discussion and deliberation. Then, the planning team will rank these ideas in order to select the best Exclamation ideas worth spreading. The nominee with the idea which receives the highest score in each category will be the first contacted for the confirmation process in the next few days. Next, the second highest score in each category will be contacted and so forth until the speaking slots are filled.

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Come Exclaim!

Just Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, combine in different ways to form words. Words that can change lives, words that can instigate an entire mankind to revolutions for several times, or just the words that you are reading right now. Just like the seven notes of music come together and make up all of music. An entire art form of music, in all its glory and beauty, can be traced back to in seven sounds. Just two digits, zero and one, govern the entirety of computer science.

The same is with the Ideas. But have you ever thought of the first time all of this has happened? Those moments when mankind came to conclusions on these things were the eureka moments. Exclamation!!!

Now if you are wondering what is the point of all this? It requires just a little tweaking with small, meaningless, seemingly unrelated things to make something brilliant. Several particles of dust, arranged in a way, came together to create the living, breathing, thinking powerhouse of a being that is now peering into a screen, reading this article. And that is all it takes! A little change, a small adjustment, a slight variation can create something new, something beautiful.

First time someone rubbed the sticks and invented fire, was the first WOW moment for mankind – the very first step towards the civilized society in which we are today. What if humans stopped there? We did not, we kept making moments into exclamatory moments when invention of the wheel occurred, when first printing press made its space in the world, when the very first steam engine roared, when Thomas Alva Edison invented electric bulb, when Graham Bell made the first telephone call, when internet and the personal computer came up, when Neil Armstrong put his first step on the moon behalf of the whole mankind. From the moment, someone smashed a rock on the ground to make the first sharp-edged tool, to the debut of the wheel to the development of Mars rovers and the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary. All these are the Exclamation moments for the human race and it is not going to stop here, the dynamic motion of the Ideas and Invention is, and will be there. What one needs is to share the ideas worth spreading.

Do you know what? If one wants to draw the Exclamation mark(!), all they need to do is pull the pen off the paper and then put the dot to complete the mark. So, come on the TEDxIIT to pull up your Exclamation idea and put it in the TEDx world taking the step towards completing it.