Blackstone LaunchPad at SU is pleased to cosponsor 2017 TEDx Syracuse University

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The Blackstone LaunchPad is pleased to join TEDx Syracuse University as a cosponsor for this year’s event, “Switch,” on April 22, 2017 from 1 – 5 p.m. in Slocum Auditorium, School of Architecture.  The event is also co-sponsored by the iSchool.

Tickets go on sale March 29, and a limited number are available at the Schine Box Office at Syracuse University.  This year’s theme is Switch, “A device for making and breaking the connection in an electric circuit; an act of adopting one policy or way of life, or choosing one type of item, in place of another; a change, especially a radical one; or changing the position, direction, or focus of something.”  Every day, month, and year, we experience switches – physical switches, emotional switches, cultural switches. They can be as simple as turning on a light or as complex as controlling the thousands of digital connections which allow people to communicate with loved ones on the other side of the world.  The goal of this year’s TEDx Syracuse University is to start switching perspectives.

The event features speakers who are business and civic entrepreneurs, and culminates in a reception and a student venture demo display sponsored by the Blackstone LaunchPad in the foyer of Slocum.

Speakers include:

  • Lakshmi Sundar: an incredibly curious daughter, wife, mother, citizen of the world who has an insatiable appetite for new experiences. A strategist and marketer by profession, a traveler and adventurer by passion, a storyteller in her Zen state, and most of all someone who is at her blissful best around the topic of food! Lakshmi’s motto in life is to jump into situations she knows little about and navigate her way to incredible experiences, beautiful relationships and positive outcomes.
  • Vasilios Lambos: a philosophical thinker and passionate speaker. He loves to research and pursue ideas that help improve people’s lives. As an industrial and interaction designer he utilizes design thinking to tackle both professional and personal problems. Vasilios is a man of culture who’s passionate about ethnography and understanding how products and interfaces affect our behavior. Having been apart of many design projects that involve prototyping, testing, and iteration his idea of failure is always embraced with positivity and new learnings. Vasilios hopes to inspire others to “cross-index” their interests and use creativity to solve even the most complex problems our society will experience today.
  • Gus Naughton: an entrepreneur who started working as a software developer and systems engineer when he was 14 with his first job taking place over the internet. At the age of 16 and 17, he attended summer quarter computer science classes at University of Washington-Seattle, living independently and working in the thriving tech industry on the West Coast. With the mentors he met along the way, he graduated high school with 4 years of professional experience, his own internet consulting business, placed 3rd in NYU’s international cybersecurity competition for high school students, and completed half of his student pilot flight training. In his first and only semester of college when he was 18, he secured an internship as a systems engineer at Saab Sensis and a full-time position as a software engineer at GE Digital which he accepted and subsequently dropped out of college. Gus’s mission is to encourage young adults to be passionate about their field, to love working hard, and to set higher goals than simply getting a job, rather, to be at the top of their field and make a tangible difference in the world.
  • Colby Sutter: a best- selling author of the book, Freedom Clause: 14 Amendments to Freedom, and the founder and director of 7Miles Inc., a nonprofit organization that inspires life changing freedom through hope. Colby has created and executed drug prevention programs in schools, including individual case management and mentoring, has developed and taught classes on finding individual freedom and purpose and has conducted multiple staff trainings and seminars for community organizations. Colby is also the founder and CEO of Redbeard Coffee Roasters, a coffee company that gives back to its local community. He resides in Syracuse, NY with his lovely wife.
  • Bikash Regmi: a native of Bhutan who was forced to leave his birthplace when he was age 7. He then spent almost 18 years in a refugee camp in Nepal. His early life was defined by statelessness, the act of being denied citizenship. In his refugee camp, he witnessed the deaths of many people including children as a result of bad sanitation, the lack of nutritious food, and poor health care. These experiences and untold miseries toughened his drive and inspired him to pursue a career in the health field allowing him to provide care and compassion to needy and less fortunate people. He resettled in Syracuse, NY in Sep 2009. It was here that his journey to achieve his dream of serving others began. Currently he is a nurse practitioner student at SUNY Poly and works as a registered nurse. He has been involved in organizing charitable events including a breast cancer awareness program and he has hosted a blood drive for fellow refugees. He serves on the advisory board for the Munson Williams Proctor Museum. He is also the student representative for the SUNY Poly Nursing Curriculum Committee. He received the Clinical Excellency Award and Student Star for On Point. He is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing. He is also selected to receive the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
  • Ashley Kang: director of a community newspaper that shines a light on the people and grassroots efforts working toward positive change in the neighborhood. The stories are written by university journalism students at the undergraduate and graduate level, urban city school students and local residents.

In the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program helps communities, organizations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.

The 2017 organizing team includes:  J.D. Ross, advisor and organizer; Emma Herrera, co-organizer; Alexandra Lockey, event planner an co-lead organizer; Anna Leach, head of curating; and Rohan Krishnan, communications director, among others.

New this year:  TEDx Syracuse University Changemakers Application

Changemakers is a new content series from TEDx Syracuse University that is looking for big ideas, bright thinkers, and relentless innovators in the Syracuse area to profile across social media.

How does it work?

  1. You fill out the application
  2. TEDx Syracuse University reaches out on a rolling basis, screen applicants, and invite you to take part in a photoshoot and mini interview
  3. Your story gets posted across TEDxSU social media

About TED:

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED’s media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Learn more at:  and