Nina Kollars, assistant professor of government, spoke on innovation as a behavior during the Black Pyramid Society’s third annual TEDx Lecture.
Nina Kollars, assistant professor of government, spoke on innovation as a behavior during the Black Pyramid Society’s third annual TEDx Lecture.

By Bridget Johnston || Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 3, F&M’s Black Pyramid Senior Honor Society (BPS) sponsored a TEDx Talk on campus for the third consecutive year.  Four speakers addressed 100 audience members regarding this year’s theme, “Global Communities,” from the Green Room Theatre’s stage.

A derivative of the popular TED Talks, a series of global conferences dedicated to “Ideas Worth Sharing,” TEDx events are organized independently by local institutions that must obtain a license from TED and abide by certain principles.

“The cohort was interested in reflecting on global issues while being mindful of how our own communities are connected with the world around it,” said Morgan Kincade ’16, events chair of BPS, speaking as to how the theme was chosen. She elaborated, saying that the theme calls the viewers to “reflect on how to properly engage with that reality.”

The event’s planning process began months in advance, in September 2015, when BPS began brainstorming for ideas.  These brainstorming sessions included not only BPS members, but also Dan Porterfield, president of the College, who, in addition to contributing ideas, also supported the group in their search for speakers for the event.

In selecting these individuals, Kincade “hoped that … [they] could continue to showcase some local voices while keeping in mind how those local voices are situated within a national and global context.”

This eventually led to the selection of the four speakers: Nina Kollars, assistant professor of government at F&M; Carlos Graupera, president and CEO of Lancaster’s Spanish American Civic Association (SACA); Jack McGuire, former president and CEO of the American Red Cross; and Kristin V. Rehder, documentary photographer and writer.

In fact, it is because an event such as TEDx is able to draw together such a wide variety of opinions and experience that Kincade felt personally drawn to become involved in the

“I loved how it showcased the voices of local leaders.  It was a wonderful reminder of the richness that surrounds us at F&M and in Lancaster,” she said.

Kincade believes the presence of TEDx on F&M’s campus not only provides students with the opportunity to listen to a wide ranging series of points of views, but it also encourages the students to reinterpret the speakers’ messages.  Kincade has personally seen this reverberation effect in audience members long after the curtain closed.  She believes TEDx encourages students to put the speakers’ words into context with their own experiences, thereby continuing the conversation and helping to produce a more aware college campus.

Although this year’s event has already come to a close, a video recording of the talks will be put online in roughly a month for the benefit of anyone who was unable to get a ticket to see it live.  In addition, BPS intends to make TEDx a campus tradition each spring, and reminds students to pay attention for more information in the next academic year for the next series of talks.

Junior Bridget Johnston is a staff writer. Her email is