top of page

Honors Program Brings TED Talks to Long Beach

Ideas worth sharing is the heart of the concept behind TED Talks, an increasingly popular forum for learning and expanding knowledge commonly shared through online videos. However, an opportunity is coming to Long Beach to be in an actual TED audience rather than watching a lecturer on your phone or computer.

The third annual TEDxCSULB is approaching rapidly for the honors program students involved, who in the spirit of TED talks, are not just gaining knowledge, but real world experience by organizing the TEDx event (the x meaning it is independently run of the international TED).

“Our social media is active our website is up, we’re just in the full swing of it right now,” said Kyle Neilson, senior business management major and director of marketing and communications for the event.

This year, TEDxCSULB will be on Saturday, Oct. 27, and curator Vania Arriola, senior communications major, is always fully aware of how many days away that is. She and the rest of the team have been planning the event since they began interviewing potential speakers last semester. Ultimately, 11 speakers were chosen: three faculty, two students, an alumna and five members of the Long Beach community.

“The speakers that we’ve chosen, we believed that they had an important message, something that was important for students to here but also something very engaging and fun that people would remember,” Arriola said.

The talks will vary widely, from personal journeys through healing, gender and power, the knowledge of learning, the importance of anxiety, healing after grief. Someone will even speak on stereotypes of working moms, incorporating her own research.

However wide the variety, they all fall under a unifying theme of “Navigating Truth.” In this case, the “ideas worth sharing” are based on life experiences that help us discover our beliefs and how they match up with societal expectations.

“In this day in age, a lot of people believe different things; there’s a lot of different opinions out there,” Arriola said. “The truth is subjective, everyone has their own experience and dreams, and sees truth differently. We wanted to provide a platform for people to share what they believe, or hopefully encourage others to be open minded.”

Tickets are on sale now, though very few community or faculty tickets remain. However, there are currently about 200 student tickets still available. Students are the target audience—TEDx organizers have set aside 300 of the 425 tickets just for them.

Arriola says part of the struggle to get students in the audience is because so many opt to volunteer and be apart of the event. It’s an opportunity that the students from the University Honors Program have to get experience in their desired field and add something nice to the resúmé.

For example, junior English major Alysha Robinson has earned the position of director of finances and sponsorship.

“I want to go into event planning, like Vania. I just decided to go into the money field, because I had a little bit of experience but I know for event planning you need a lot of experience especially when it comes to budgeting,” Robinson said.

They are dealing with a budget of around $30,000, and about half of that comes from ticket sales and the rest from ASI grants and sponsorships. Most of the money goes back to the attendees through food, t-shirts and goody bags.

Neilson, who will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business, has his hands full learning how to market the event amidst the busy season of late October.

“It’s a very diverse and broad spectrum of students, we’re looking at 36-37,000 roughly,” Neilson said. “We’re talking about a campus that has a commuter culture but it also has a pretty substantial dorm community and just a million different activities going on every day. It’s hard to reach a substantial crowd.”

Student tickets are $30, which could also potentially be keeping the seats from filling, though the TEDx student board is confident they will sell out before the event. Faculty tickets are $40 and general admission is $45, though those tickets are almost gone. Tickets are available for purchase at


bottom of page