Marquette University hosted its first annual TEDx event, “Rooted,” March 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Sensenbrenner Hall.
The event was hosted in partnership with Marquette University Student Government, the Graduate School of Management and the 707 Hub. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience with speakers that spark discussion and connection, according to its website.
“TEDx is about sharing ideas,” Parker Dow, junior in the College of Engineering and co-founder and student advisor of TEDxMarquetteU, Dow said.
Dow said TEDxMarquetteU wanted to help bridge ideas between Marquette and Milwaukee.
TEDxMarquetteU is student-run. They hosted a TEDx-styled speaker series last academic year, which inspired the members to expand and organize a full-length TEDx event.
Kyle Hagge, a graduate student in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the theme of the event, “Rooted,” was selected because a lot of individuals are establish themselves in Milwaukee.
“A lot of people call Milwaukee home,” Hagge said. “We wanted to see how we could help students at Marquette, some who have only been here for eight months, call Milwaukee home.”
Hagge said they also wanted to bring attention to issues in Milwaukee.
The event opened with Joe Sweeney, author of The New York Times best seller “Networking is a Contact Sport” and former sports agent. Griselda Aldrete, president and CEO of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and Paige Peters, engineer and CEO and founder of Rapid Radicals Technology, a Milwaukee based organization working on sanitation technology for wastewater also spoke at the event.
Sweeney focused on the question of how we can connect deeper with one another. He said the best connectors understand the importance of belonging, loving, meaning and significance.
“They know it’s about giving, not taking,” Sweeney said. “It’s not about you, it’s about serving others.”
Aldrete spoke about how mentoring has impacted her life and how she mentors Hispanic community members in Milwaukee.
“My main goal is to break ceilings to give opportunities to Hispanic constituents,” Aldrete said, adding that she wants to make sure people feel empowered.
Peters spoke about the importance of finding a passion and working toward that passion, which includes building a skill set and guiding your life and time toward that passion.
For Peters, water became her passion. She has collaborated with the R&D Chair for Global Water Stewardship and the Madison Area Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
“It’s human, social and public,” Peters said. “It connects us all.”
The event closed with Anna Oakes, founder and CEO of We Restore Humanity, where she coaches entrepreneurs and leaders. Bria Smith, a youth activist and president of the Milwaukee Youth Council, also spoke at the event.
Oakes talked about being an impact entrepreneur and evolving the mindset about work. She said evolving in the mindset will increase fulfillment in how people spend their time.
Smith spoke about the importance of activism and the necessity for people to become uncomfortable knowing and listening to issues happening around them.
“Young people need to be in activism because our lives depend on it,” Smith said. “It’s our duty to win. It’s our duty to fight for our freedom. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”