When Greg Irwin attended TEDxChapmanU last year, the commercial account rep for an Orange graphics company left the event held on Chapman’s campus highly motivated to make some changes in his professional life.


The talk that inspired Irwin given by Gwynne Shotwell, president and CEO of SpaceX, caused him to rethink some aspects of his career. Shotwell’s California-based company, which was founded in 2002, designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft with the goal of enabling people to live on other planets


“Shotwell got my attention when she began her speech talking about how Californians spend $12 billion on beer each year and only $11 billion educating students in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” says Irwin.

“She continued to hold my attention when she went on to discuss the space launches her company performs and their philosophy of embracing failure as a learning experience. The idea of always pushing harder and failing so that you can learn from it really resonated with me. I was so inspired that I shared the video of her talk with the owners of the company where I work,” says Irwin.

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“Sharing new ideas and changing perspectives is what TEDx events are all about,” says Old Towne resident and former TEDx associate, Jonathan Neal, who is now a web technology specialist at Chapman University. “The TEDx events, which date back to the 1980s, are all about spreading ideas. It is an incredibly powerful venue, featuring eight-to 12-minute talks that can make an profound impact.”


While there are TEDx talks occurring across the globe, you won’t find them just anywhere, says Neal. “The fact that the talks are being held at Chapman in our backyard is something to be proud of and a testament to how forward thinking the university is,” he says. “People will come great distances to be a part of this event; it’s definitely worth attending.”


At this year’s TEDxChapmanU, to be held in Memorial Hall on June 18th beginning at 1 pm, hear speakers such as Stephanie Decker, who saved the lives of her two young children during a tornado that destroyed her home. Also appearing is Aaron Kushner, co-owner/CEO of Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Orange County Register. He will discuss growing newspapers and ensuring their long-term health


General admission tickets are $20, and Chapman members pay $10. Register on-line at www.tedxchapmanu.com


Select to view Jul/Aug 2013 article on 2014 speaker Dr. Laura Glynn
Select to view Jul/Aug 2012 article on 2014 speaker Stacey Schuerman
Select to view videos of the inspiring TEDxChapmanU 2013 talks.


Article Published in the
May / Jun 14 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
Written by Julie Bawden-Davis
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