Learning 13 Nov 2017

TEDxCanadianIntlSchool Think about 10 years

By Gayatri Chirambath and Alexandra Chapman, CanadianIntlSchool TEDxYouth organising team
Photograph by CIS Communications

After eight months of weekly meetings, rehearsals and extensive email chains, the 21st of September finally rolled around - the first ever CanadianIntlSchool TEDxYouth event, themed “Think about 10 years”.

The whole TEDx team (speakers and organisers) was excited on the evening of the event, and the event went even better than we could have hoped for. Our speakers gave engaging talks on a range of topics from terrorism to the future of food. The audience which comprised of parents, teachers, and students were moved!

It all started in February with our very first TEDx Youth meeting where the six of us began the long process of planning, organising, and setting up auditions and rehearsals. The first big question was what the central theme of the event would be. We had seen many TED presentations in the past, and knew that we had to craft an idea that would allow as much freedom to the speakers as possible. While we dedicated the first three meetings to creating the concept, we were still trying to obtain a license from TEDx during this time. Finding an available title was more difficult than some would believe!

After we finalised our topic, “Think About 10 Years”, we began publicising schoolwide the opportunity to become a speaker in the first ever TEDx Youth event of CIS. TED speaker candidates went through two rounds of selections and the organisers met with final speakers and help them finalise their innovative topics. During this time, the organising team worked on creating the schedule and other vital details of such a large event. Before the summer break, we had our venue, our speakers, the topics, and a plan in motion.

The two months right before the big event, August and September, were challenging in terms of organising rehearsals, finalising details, and working on the overall presentation. Communication was key: We had to ensure that with 6 people on our team, that we were communicating effectively between ourselves as well as with the Marketing and Communications team at school. Around two weeks before the event, our website was up and running, and signups were open!

Rehearsals were great opportunities for speakers to practice their talks and receive feedback from teachers and organizing team on how to improve or do differently. The speakers put an incredible amount of work into their talks as we could clearly see the improvement in each speaker’s stage presence, comfort in speaking and in-depth knowledge of their specific topic. It was exciting for us to see months of hard work has finally come together.

This was one of the bigger and more challenging CAS activities that any of us had put together. To work together was a great opportunity, but to learn how much effort goes into putting together such a big event was greater.

We hope that CIS students in the years to come, will continue housing TEDx events and providing the student body with an amazing opportunity to share their opinions in our community. On behalf of the TEDx Youth team, we would especially like to thank the MarCom team, the IT Department, Mr Boon, Mr Rabor, Ms King, and especially Dr Bates, who all helped in the process tremendously.

CanadianIntlSchool TEDx Youth talks can be viewed on the CIS’ YouTube channel.