TEDxUIUC incorporates speakers’ backgrounds in annual conference

TEDxUIUC will host its annual conference at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Saturday.

Heather Aubry, organizer of the event, said the group does a daily release on Facebook of each speaker to get students excited for the conference.

This year’s speakers embrace their own roots by giving speeches about exploring how their past experiences have shaped the person they have become today.

“All the speakers are incorporating their roots somehow into their talks,” Aubry said. “Whether coming from an immigrant family or a comedic family, (the speakers) incorporate that into their speech.”

Some of the 2018 speakers include Jill Kimmel, Kevin Zhang and Emma Cox.

Aubry said TEDxUIUC is particularly excited to host Jill Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel’s sister.

“She is an amazing person and super funny,” Aubry said. “She comes from the Kimmel family, so she’s a naturally funny person, as to be expected.”

She said it is also looking forward to hosting Kevin Zhang, who is mainly into the consulting business. He will be giving a motivational speech while integrating his personal roots.

Aubry said the group is concentrating a lot on breakout sessions, which will occur twice a day. During these sessions, campus organizations showcase their presentations and provide interactive experiences.

“This year’s event, we’re doing a lot more in terms of marketing and getting the word out,” Aubry said.

She said they expect approximately 600 students to attend TEDxUIUC this year.

“We’re very exciting about it, and it’s going to be a very enticing day,” Aubry said.

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Correction: A previous version of the article listed Aubrey Drake Graham as a guest speaker. However, the name was announced as an April Fools’ Day joke. The Daily Illini regrets this error