Arianna Warner, a Stony Brook University senior majoring in studio art and creator of the Dinosaur Onesie Project, is in collaboration with TED to spread her initiative for the TEDx summer conference.
Warner created the Dinosaur Onesie Project when she was admitted into the hospital in 2011. The project was meant to inspire personal interactions between people, happiness and a sense of community. To do this, Warner hides wax dinosaur figurines around campus for people to find.
TED is a non-profit organization built around “ideas worth spreading,” and hosts conferences with topics ranging from technology to entertainment in order to inspire, and hopefully change, the world.
“TED emailed me around late February asking me if I wanted to be a part of their summer conference,” Warner said. “It was almost like a dream come true for me.”
Warner has gone to the community to help her build materials for her conference. Her biggest contribution is her magazine, which will make its debut at the conference this summer.
The magazine, which will be divided into two parts, will cover her personal story in developing the Onesie Project and the project’s mission statement. An aspect she wishes to incorporate involves having others tell their stories.
“My story is very medical, but there are people out there every day suffering social, racial and even mental disorders. I want for them to be able to tell their stories also,” Warner said.
Using various social media sites such as Facebook and Tumblr, Warner has asked the community to contribute artistically to her magazine through photos or short stories. The magazine is scheduled to begin printing after the school year ends, when Warner intends to print about 1,250 issues, which could be sold at a later point. The magazine also helps showcase the project’s goal of fostering a sense of community.
A TEDx conference, which will take place in California, is focused more on smaller communities. Warner, who will not be able to make it due to schooling, is working with TED on planning.
“These kind of things take a lot of money and even more planning,” Warner said.
Warner is funding her presentation herself. To help her do that, Warner is planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign, with one of the rewards being the Onesie magazine. She is also planning campus events, such as bake sales, where she plans to sell Dinosaur Onesie-based products. She is also spreading awareness of the project to multiple news sources in order to help get submissions for her magazine.
Although it is Warner’s conference, she has no intention of appearing unless it is in person.
“So much of the Onesie Project is rooted in personal interaction that it would take away from the presentation if I appeared in a video,” Warner said. However, she does plan on making a Youtube video before the conference announcing more details about the event.
Still, the event is still early in the planning stage. The TEDx conference is not set to happen until summer, but Warner is heavily involved in the planning process.
“What I want people to really take out of the conference is something they can literally take with them,” Warner said. “That’s why the magazine is so special as it is something that people can really learn about how these problems can really change someone’s life.”