TEDxUNCAsheville Presents “Unexcused Absence”

February 27, 2019

By Tris Lashea ‘22

You won’t want to miss this year’s TEDxUNCAsheville, an event featuring short, inspiring talks by members of the UNC Asheville community. This year’s theme “The Unexcused Absence” focuses in on what was never taught in school, focusing on the gaps in life’s curriculum that prevent us from connecting with the world around us.

Organized by a team of students at UNC Asheville, TEDxUNCAsheville was established in 2013. The organization has hosted numerous conferences, allowing the Asheville community to cultivate new ideas.

“TED events are incredibly expensive and usually across the country, so TEDx is a way for communities to showcase their ideas that have significance on a local level,” said Taylor Beyer, a senior student that has been involved in this organization since freshman year.

And while the theme focuses on life lessons outside of the classroom, it resonates with UNC Asheville’s approach for the students.

Beyer said, “UNC Asheville encourages us to look at the world in the liberal arts way, but we wanted to go beyond that,” Beyer said. “What does education even mean to us and what does it mean to learn something?”

Throughout the day there will be seven speakers leading seven talks broken into three sections, with three different subthemes connecting to the overall theme of “Unexcused Absence.” Active breaks in between the sessions allow the audience to talk to the speakers face to face to dive into things deeper.

There will be free stuff, free food, and every audience member gets a surprise gift at the end of the event, Beyer said.

“Freshmen and sophomores are usually the ones that come to events like this, but I think it is possibly one of the most important talks for juniors and seniors who are about to go out into the world and thinking critically about their education about what’s there and what’s missing,” Beyer said. “So, this is a start to that discussion. If you want to learn more about a topic why not start with a TEDx talk?”

TEDxUNCAsheville takes place from 1-5 p.m. on is on Saturday, March 2nd in the Blue Ridge Room in the Highsmith Student Union. General admission is free; all-access passes are available for $10.

For more information about the event and the speakers visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxUNCAsheville/

General admission tickets are available at https://fixr.co/event/685601284