By Umay Eren Ertekin/ Y10 (14 years old)
On the 19th of March, 100 student participants from the International School of the Hague (the ISH) enjoyed a truly unique and inspiring experience - a TEDx Youth event. Featuring fantastic talks, many engaging workshops and shows of entertainment throughout the day, we can only say that the event reached its aim and its slogan; 'Spark Your Talent'.
What is TEDx Youth all about?
A TEDx event is a local and self-organised TED-like experience, where the 'x' indicates an independently organised TED event. It brings people together to be inspired, amazed and intrigued in one event, enhanced by entertaining and stunning shows of music, dance and more.
It brings the exquisite opportunity of attending a TED event in your local environment.
Image:Christel van Meeuwen
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. It supports world changing ideas of people from all over the world. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Expectations and enthusiasm for the event was high, visible by the high number of participants, compared to the expected number of 100. Many participants said that they watched TED talks regularly, and so could not miss this event. "I want to attend because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity!" said a year 8 student. A year 9 student commented: "I want to learn and I want to thrive as a human being by watching people who are doing just that.”
The event started at midday with registration, and consisted of two sessions of talks and presentations by the speakers, along with entertainment (such as dance, singing, poetry and music), recordings of TED talks shown with a break and workshops in between (such as drama, dance, Big Data, Badges, Handshake between Science and humanities and wish bracelets). The topics of the talks ranged from making textiles out of nettles to emotional intelligence, and the building blocks of life, and the development process of a novel idea. Amazing life stories were told; including that of Thierry Schmitter, Paralympics bronze medal winner, and Hanus Samró, author, entrepreneur and youngest member in the history of the Faroese parliament.
ISH student speakers
Two of the many prodigiously successful speakers, Alex Horin and Ymiel van der Zanden, were ISH students. The hosts, Leticia Silva and Benjamin Omerbegovic, were also students, alongside David Butcher, the principal of the secondary part of the school.
Students taking part in the exceptional Challenger Programme at ISH provided support throughout the event. The Challenger Programme is an enrichment programme for high-achieving students, providing lectures on extended topics not touched on in detail during class.
Image:Christel van Meeuwen
The fact that the event was enjoyed was definite. Many participants state that the event met their expectations. Kylian van Oosterhout remarks, "I thought it was great that we were able to meet the speakers after they spoke."
"I enjoyed the speeches, most of them were inspiring and all of them were interesting. Besides that, the small video clips in between the various live presentations were extremely entertaining and fun to watch,” commented Bonne van Oordt.
The satisfaction of the speakers was also quite tangible. “The professionalism of the event was quite impressive,” said Katherine Fortier who is a Child and Educational Psychologist and a speaker. Her main expectation was to meet inspiring young people, and she exuberantly states that she has indeed done that.
Mr Schmitter describes the environment of the school and the multitude of nationalities and culture as truly inspirational. "To grow up in a multi-cultural environment," he says, "is the best gift we can give youth.”
Targeting youth talent
"Creating TEDx Youth @ ISH has been an innovative, interesting, unique and challenging journey to me." says Yarona van der Horst, co-organiser of the event. The event's target of youth has a special meaning for her; she believes that it is especially important to "spark your talent when you are still young, when you can still be challenged. Adults usually already know their talents." Ms. van der Horst states that she wanted to do something with the next generation. "Everyone has a talent, and it is essential that you do something with it; that you spark it."
We can only hope that such a superb opportunity and event will take place again; it has been fascinating and extremely enjoyable to host TEDx Youth at our school. The ISH looks forward to continuing to create such amazing experiences in the future.
This magnificent event was organised by Leen Maes, Yarona van der Horst, Christel van Meeuwen, Anna Lorant, Rick van Vliet, Dali van Weelden, Pia Fallenius, Jan Henk Roukema, Timothy Jones and Eva László. Special thanks also goes to Mr. David Butcher, Wendy de Jong, to the TEDx @ ISH Support Student Teams, and all others; without them this event would never have been possible. We would like to also express our sincerest gratitude to all participators, speakers and workshop leaders.
For more information please look at www.tedxyouthish.com
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