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Warwick TEDxTalk Showcased on Prestigious TED.com

TEDxWarwick logoThe University of Warwick has become the first institute in the world to host a TEDx event entirely organized by undergraduate students with a TEDxTalk selected for the prestigious TED.com website.

In March a team of 36 full-time Warwick students organised the third TEDxWarwick, a day of thought provoking talks on a wide range of subjects, and now one of their talks has been selected to be featured on TED.com, a nonprofit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

The talk by Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol, ‘Faith versus tradition in Islam’, was made available on TED.com on May 26th 2011. In this talk, Mustafa Akyol explains the long-standing ‘freedom deficit’ in the Muslim world and argues for reconciliation between Islam and an open, liberal society. He also outlines some of the themes in his upcoming book, Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (W.W.Norton, July 2011).

After his talk, Mustafa Akyol said: “The gap between the West and the Islamic world, real or perceived, is a major theme for our century, and we need many honest and reasoned discussions about it. I am glad that TEDxWarwick realized that need, and gave me the floor to discuss some problems within Islam and the potential ways out. As a speaker, it was a truly engaging experience for me”.

Mustafa Akyol, ‘Faith versus tradition in Islam’ featured on TED.comEvent organisers Matthieu Baril and Sina Thieme, both final year students, said the decision made by TED.com was just reward for the TEDxWarwick team’s hard work and dedication.

Matthieu Baril said: “Being able to share the ideas that were discussed at TEDxWarwick with the global TED community in this way is a great honour and a fantastic achievement for the entire team. We are proud to have a talk selected for TED.com, and we encourage students from all over the world to join TED in the extraordinary multidisciplinary exchange of ideas that it provides”.

This year’s TEDxWarwick saw 11 live speakers from across the globe descend on the University of Warwick campus for the event to discuss a wide variety of subjects, including sustainability, education and liberty.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift added: “I am delighted to see how often, and how effectively, Warwick students work together to address global issues and challenges. It is a major achievement for our students to have won this new opportunity for a global audience for their work”.

In 2008 TEDxWarwick became one of the first beta partners for an initiative TED was about to launch in March 2009. The team was able to accentuate those TED characteristics that everyone loves, and equally importantly find those characteristics that didn't quite translate to a smaller establishment setting. This resulted in the first TEDxWarwick conference. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience, where x=independently organized TED event.

Since 2009, there have been nearly 2,000 TEDx events across the world, in 100 different countries and in 40 different languages.

Futher information

Notes to Editors

About TEDx, x=independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading”, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxWarwick, where x=independently organized TED event. At TEDxWarwick, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED

Contact Matthieu Baril at: matthieu.baril@tedxwarwick.com or at +44 753 143 4024

For more information contact Luke Hamer, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, on 02476 575601, or on 07824 541142. Alternatively email l.hamer@warwick.ac.uk.

Sponsors and Partners

TEDxWarwick is sponsored by Credit Suisse, the University of Warwick, the Warwick Economics Department, and the Psychology Department. Our partners include the University of Warwick’s Digital Press and The Student Journals.