The TEDxWakeForestU conference was originally started in 2012 by student activist and campus leader, Lucy Lan, in order to promote technology entrepreneurship here on the Wake Forest campus. With this in mind, she was able to bring a multitude of speakers from many disciplines to educate the Wake Forest community. This event was a bigger success than she could have imagined, with over 1,000 attendees and immeasureable impact on the Wake Forest community.

“Many TEDx events are very intimate, limited to 100 people or less under the organization’s rules,” said Lucy Lan, lead Wake Forest student organizer, “Our TEDxWakeForestU event is designed for 1,000 attendees, and TED Fellow Dr. Anthony Atala has thrown his support behind it.”

Dr. Atala’s TEDTalk on printing kidneys in 3-D was named one of the top 10 TEDTalks of 2011 and featured on the Huffington Post among other sites. Dr. Atala is part of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The TEDxWakeForestU community seeks to extend the TED experience at a regional level, highlighting exceptional people and creative works, connecting people across disciplines, creating conversations that drive action. We explore big questions with a broad spirit of inquiry.

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Anthony Atala's state-of-the-art lab grows human organs — from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to 98.6 F) and a machine that "prints" human tissue.

TED And The TEDx Concept

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. Started in 1984 in California as a four-day conference about Technology, Entertainment, Design, TED has broadened its scope and grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available for free at TED.com.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For more information, visit the TED website, and follow TED on Twitter or Facebook.

Prior Events

  • 2012 – Inaugural Event
  • 2013 – Defining Our Future
  • 2014 – Daring To Endeavor
  • 2015 – Hearts & Minds
  • 2016 – Haven: Fearlessness Reimagined
  • 2017 – Power of Curiosity 

Current Team

Hayden Lineberger '18, Executive Director

Emily Fitzgerald '17, Assistant Director

Caroline Lewis '17, Co-Director of Engagement

Arthur Willson '19, Co-Director of Engagement

Julia Demorest '19, Director of Talent

Julie Gray '19, Director of Operations

Yossuf Albawani '17, Director of Hospitality

Garret Barnes '19, Stage Manager

John Thurber '18, Event Support/Volunteer Director



TEDxWakeForestU 2017 is made possible by: 

  • Wake Forest University
  • The Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship
  • The Office of the President 
  • The Office of the Provost
  • The Dean of the College
  • The Student Activity Fund (SAF)
  • Yelp


For questions or concerns, please contact tedx@wfu.edu.