This past April, Suffolk University hosted a sold-out TEDx event where eight experts spoke on the theme “Economies of the Future.” What you might not know is that a group of students— from Suffolk’s TEDx&Talks Club—were the ones who planned and organized the entire event.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of TED talks,” said club president Abdulla Khoory, a marketing and finance double major in the class of 2017. “I wanted to bring TEDx to campus to inspire students and spark change.”
The club held two smaller events this year with outside speakers, one on the future of smart cities and another on the sharing economy. Building on those successes, the club took on the ambitious task of organizing a full evening of programming to be recorded for the TEDx series.
Alex Bennett, an entrepreneurship major in the class of 2017 and the club’s creative consultant, cited Suffolk’s location as a major factor in making their event work. “Being in the heart of Boston is what has allowed us to attract such impressive speakers,” he said.
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“Coding and the Law was a breath of fresh air,” says Chelsea Strauss JD ’17, who took the one-week intensive class over winter break. “There were no cases to read; no plaintiffs; no defendants; no lawsuits; no damages.”
Strauss had no idea what to expect from the class, but found that “each day was a new adventure” as students learned to use a handful of free and open-sourced programs - such as QnA Markup, which she found the most useful. “Using QnA Markup, I integrated my interest in family law by building a questionnaire for clients before they hire a divorce attorney to learn whether legal representation is necessary,” Strauss said. “I truly believe technology and law are progressing together, and I want to be a driver of this revolution.”
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“Suffolk has opened more doors and opportunities for me than I even knew existed,” says James Testa, an entrepreneurship major in the class of 2017. “Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to own my own business,” Testa says. In 2016, while still a student, he launched his first business, Warm-Up Coffee, with a successful Kickstarter campaign.