Farmer School Hosts First Ever TEDx Event at Miami University

October 2012

Watch the preview above or see them all.

On September 14th, three finance experts and three early childhood development experts from Michigan, NY, Nebraska and California convened at the Farmer School to share their perspectives on one of the most important and highly debated issues facing the country - early childhood education. Students, educators, early childhood specialists, researchers, advocates and health care practitioners from across the tri-state filled the auditorium, excited to be part of TEDx MiamiUniversity. The theme, "The ROI of investing in early childhood education," proved to be all they hoped, and more.

Organizer Dennis Sullivan explained the theme choice, "The scholars are not getting the word out. Answers that are pretty well understood are not making it out into the citizen and political conversation."

Roger L. Jenkins, Dean of the Farmer School and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership, opened the event with an observation, "The TED concept is brilliant in its simplicity - ideas worth sharing. That concept - the tremendous value of collaborative learning - is the foundation upon which the Farmer School is built."

Collaboration was a thread woven throughout the event. TEDx Miami University was a joint effort between the Farmer School and the School of Education, Health, and Society. Student organizers from TEDxXavierUniversity volunteered their support. Educators and financial modelers found common ground.

Combining two different areas of expertise encouraged audience members to view the issue from two very different perspectives, and created spirited conversation throughout the day. More importantly, that conversation will continue worldwide; within a few weeks, professionally videotaped versions of all six speakers will be available to the public on

Speaker Debora Wisneski, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at University of Nebraska- Omaha, concluded, "I had the opportunity to listen and speak with a variety of people who I never would have gotten introduced to. Our conferences would have never crossed; our research would be absolutely separated."