TEDxTrinColl Challenges People to “Step Out” of the Cave

Olivia Caime ’23

Staff Writer

TED is an American media organization founded in 1984 that is dedicated to facilitating and sharing thought-provoking talks. Their slogan is “ideas worth spreading.” In order to do so, the organization posts their talks, which tend to be under eighteen minutes long, online for free distribution. 

TED talks are conducted in over one hundred languages and cover a multitude of topics. The organization also allows independent TEDx events to take place. These TEDx events are most commonly at colleges and universities and are meant to further circulate important ideas and discussions. Trinity College has been one of the many colleges that facilitate TEDx discussions since 2015. The second ever TEDxTrinColl happened in Vernon Social on Saturday, Feb. 29. 

The theme of TEDxTrinColl was “Step Out.” Participants were encouraged to reflect on their personal changes as they step out of the cave. The idea of “stepping out of the cave” comes from a famous allegory created by Plato in early 300 B.C. which represents broadening your horizons as you leave your personal “cave” and face the outside world. Audience members were asked to embrace discomfort as they looked at not only their past, but also thought about the limitless future. 

“Our speakers challenged the audience to step out of their ‘caves’ and be open to new ideas by talking about social grace, comfort zone, healing of soul, and uniting communities through personal hobbies,” explained Dasha Maliauskaya ’22, a coordinator of the event.

The speakers varied greatly in their professions, backgrounds, and experiences. Speakers included Associate Professor of Music Eric Galm (“Listening to Cultural Connections through Brazilian Music”), IDP student James Jeter (“The Need for Social Grace: A Different Type of Revolution”), founder and CEO of Embrace Her Legacy Maria I. Melendez (“A Time to Heal”), Nigerian-Swedish artist Mikael Chukwuma Owunna (“Reimagining Body”), Associate Director of Customer Experience at Pratt & Whitney Shakira Ramos ’02 Crespo (“Beyond Your Street”), and IDP student Tobias Aahlberg (“Commodification of Animals: A Cultural Blindspot”). 

“TEDx aims to bring bright minds to one place and share their ideas with others,” explained Maliauskaya. “Colleges and universities are exactly these institutions where people seek higher education through learning and exploring new ideas and  concepts. Hence, TEDx represents another educational opportunity for college students to seek and exchange knowledge,” added Maliauskaya.

Maliauskaya also emphasized TEDxTrinColl as a way to bridge the Trinity and Hartford communities. “Throughout the event, Trinity students and alumni had a chance to share their thoughts and bring a new face to particular issues, as well as get more in touch with the local community outside of academia.”


Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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