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Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan


TEDxTohokuUniversity in a Glance

Since its inception in 1907, Tohoku University has been known for its ‘Open Door’ policy and was the first university to welcome foreign, and female, students within Japan. Tohoku University continues to attract great minds from all over the world, and conducts research of high quality. Although the University accepts a wide range of students, until now, it is still lacking an acclaimed, global platform for sharing ideas, inspiring stories and best practices.

TEDxTohokuUniversity, as individually organized branch of the famous TED talks, could provide this platform for the University and various stakeholders, within and outside the university. The main ideas behind TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) are to share multidisciplinary innovations, ideas and inspiring stories with a broad audience on­ and offline.

Our team believes that it is vitally important for a leading university to not only admit and teach students, and conduct research, but to also engage with the local community and create a meaningful impact through sharing knowledge and ideas. TEDxTohokuUniversity is an opportunity to connect members of the University with the wider public, to truly open up the doors of Tohoku University; we can create a platform to give back to and inspire, not only the Tohoku region, but the world. It will be a melting pot, where success and failure can come together to excite and educate future generations of the important lessons we learn today.


In 2011 Tohoku region suffered from a big earthquake and tsunami and many people have left the region, and this slowed down the revitalization of Tohoku region. The TEDx team believes that the key to the sustainable revitalization is to strengthen the tie between the university and local community. University is where the great minds, new technologies, and innovations are born. However, many people in Japan think of Tohoku University as a prestigious and distanced place to get involved. At the same time, there is not much chance for people within the university to interact with the local community. As a result, many potential possibilities are being wasted. I believe that universities should be more active in community engagement and should play a roll in not only the development of technologies and innovations, but also in building a community around us.  TEDxTohokuUniversity aims at breaking this barrier through “Open Doors” to foster new innovations and collaborations contributing to the development of Tohoku Region, and Tohoku people. I believe that Tohoku University can offer a lot of inspiration; not just to the local people of Sendai and Tohoku, but the world.
Chanon Pornrungroj



TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives. At a TED conference, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. 

Learn more about the initiative here.