SDSU student speaks at TEDx event

by Colleen Larson, Staff writer

A San Diego State student was a speaker at this year’s TEDx event hosted on Oct. 11 at the on-campus Don Powell Theater. The theme of the event was “Transformation Through Us,” which focused around an array of individuals who are responsible for some type of change occurring either in San Diego or globally.

TEDxAmericasFinestCity focuses exclusively on encouraging local involvement of San Diego-based innovation and progress,” read the event brochure. “The mission has always been to find compelling local speakers to create a platform for the community to express their ideas globally.”

Business administration graduate student Lambert Ninteman was one of nine speakers, all with different stories and ideas to share with the audience. Ninteman spoke at the event about his experience as team captain of the SDSU X-Team, which consists of students and faculty from six out of the seven colleges on campus. Ninteman’s speech focused on the idea of achieving goals that are seemingly impossible to begin with.

“I like that weaving of sort of team and social goals at an impossible level, and within that finding these nests of opportunity the individual members to achieve something seemingly impossible in their own lives,” Ninteman said. “We challenge ourselves to become the best versions of ourselves. And that’s one of the most tremendous and powerful parts of this whole process.”

The SDSU X-Team recently competed in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a bio-sensing technology challenge. Out of 312 teams that originally entered the competition, the SDSU X-Team made it to the top 21 before being eliminated in August.

Ninteman recognizes the tremendous amount of support his team has received from SDSU throughout the whole process of this competition. He said President Hirshman paid the initial $5,000 entry fee for the XPRIZE competition.

“We have had support from the ground up,” Ninteman said. “It is amazing to see how Aztecs come together. In essence, we all have something to contribute. If we each don’t have much but all pull together, then we have a lot.”

After the SDSU X-Team was dropped from the competition, the team decided to merge with a team who had made it to the top ten.

“Even though we didn’t make it to the top ten we are the only one—to my knowledge—of 302 teams that actually joined with a top ten team,” Ninteman said. “So the status of the XPRIZE now is we are part of team SCANurse. So we are out but we are in, and we are going to go all the way through to the end.”

The SCANurse team is building a device to measure vital signs and certain diseases, such as anemia and Hepatitis A.

Other topics discussed at the TEDxAmericasFinestCity included new classroom initiatives, facial expression sensing technology and innovation through the arts.

“We are so isolated,” audience member Gayle Early said. “We all have our businesses and our art projects, so it is nice to be in a community where we can actually come out and be around other people who are doing and creating. Actually seeing and hearing that people here are building communities and sharing ideas, it is exciting.”