In case you’re not already familiar, TED talks are the source of brain-bursting ideas, viral videos, inspirational speeches from today’s top thinkers, whether they be neuroscientists or architects or writers or ex-presidents. Think of it like a Malcolm Gladwell essay performed live:  TED speakers give a brief, technology-aided lecture about the most inspiring or revolutionary aspect of their work, the crowd laughs/cries/gasps and everyone goes home enlightened.

Maybe you’ve watched one of the many TED videos posted online and considered attending the conference in person — until you found out that tickets cost $6,000. Eep. Lucky for the non-millionaires among us, though, TED also sponsors what they call TEDx events, which are independently organized events worldwide that are inspired by the same spirit of deep discussion and open-sourced wisdom. And now Towson University is bringing that TEDx spirit to its campus with the first-ever TEDxTowsonU conference, “aimed at inspiring lifelong personal and social responsibility and encouraging individuals to be an agent of change for a better world.”

Conference speakers are slated to include Kristen McGuire, director of the Baltimore Collegetown Network; Jesica Turral, who pairs mentors with at-risk teenagers;  Don Thomas, an astronaut and Towson science professor; Hilary Corna, founder of; and Michael Owen, creator of the Baltimore Love Project.

The conference takes place May 10, but anyone wanting to attend should put in an application now; seating is limited to 100 attendees. And TEDxTowsonU is emphatically not first-come, first-served — the somewhat extensive application will allow the conference’s planners to “curate a remarkable list of attendees,” meaning that the audience is likely to be just as inspiring as the speakers. Applications are due April 25; get yours in now!