The Beginning of TEDxASU

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

This year marks TEDxASU’s fourth year on campus, but how did we get here? Let’s take you back to the beginning. It all started with an idea.

Ammar Tanveer was a junior at ASU when he first thought of the idea to have TED talks on campus. Ammar had become more and more involved on campus and he was inspired by the large amount of resources on campus. He realized that students were simply just going to school and not getting involved or using the resources that ASU had to offer, and he wanted to change that.

“We aren’t just a party school,” Ammar said.

The tools, resources, the information are all within students’ reach, he emphasized.

Ammar finally applied and got approved for a TEDx license his senior year of college, and that’s when things started to take off.

Being a Molecular bio-science and Biotechnology major, Ammar had absolutely no experience in creating, planning, or hosting an event. Yet, that didn’t stop him from making his vision a reality.

He gathered his friends to help him create a team, but still they didn’t have much guidance. Until Mary-Beth, a mentor to Ammar helped him shape TEDx into what it is today.

“Without Mary-Beth, we would not be here,” Ammar said.

Countless calls and meetings were held leading up to the 100-person event. Each year, it got bigger and bigger.

Ammar always knew that TEDxASU would be something special and he believed that one day the event would be held in Gammage, that was his goal.

During his first year of running TEDxASU, Ammar was at a different event at Gammage, standing on the balcony and told his friend, “this is where we’re gonna be.”

Now, four years later, TEDxASU will take place on March 25th at Gammage, highlighting the future and the next generation of innovators.

“I want people to really think about the future as something that’s not that far away,” Ammar said.

At the end of the day, Ammar believes that the future we envision won’t come easy and we not only need to work but also come together to make it possible.


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