Psychology Major Organizes TEDx Event
Last fall, fourth-year psychology major Cameron Wiese co-organized Cal Poly's first TedX event, TedXCalPoly 2016, which featured talks from Cal Poly students and professors, as well as a host of other accomplished individuals from across the country. Speakers presented to a sold-out audience in the Performing Arts Center on campus.
"Hands down, it was the best learning experience I've had so far," said Wiese, who co-organized the event with his partner, economics student, Eli Burch. The pair worked hard to find accomplished speakers whose stories adhere to the TED mantra: Ideas Worth Spreading.
“A couple of us spent days digging through local newspapers, Cal Poly publications, and talking with as many people as we could asking them, 'who do you know that's working on a big idea'," Wiese said.
Wiese and his team eventually came across worthy speakers. Many had ties to the College of Liberal Arts, including sociology senior Luke Fox, CEO of drone defense company WhiteFox, psychology professor Don Ryujin and philosophy professor Ryan Jenkins.
All the the speakers for TEDxCalPoly 2016 presented topics or stories that fit the event's theme, "Plot Twist." Wiese said, "Most [students] are at a point in our lives when we're experiencing dramatic change, and it strongly resonated with the team, so we decided to roll with it."
Wiese says that serving as a TEDx organizer helped him learn about himself as a person and a worker. In addition to finding speakers, Wiese solicited sponsorships, hosted a preview event for sponsors and coordinated the logistics. "From TEDx, I learned where some of my strengths and weaknesses lie, as well as the types of people I work well with," he said. "It's these experience-based lessons that will certainly shape my path moving forward."
Wiese is currently honing his entrepreneurial skills on a new startup called PolyRents, a website that helps landlords organize tenant applications.