Student voice 2 Jul 2024

TEDx returns to CIS: "What is Culture to You?"

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Last semester saw the return of TEDx to the Canadian International School in Singapore. Independently organised by Class of 2025 students Lavanya L. and Simone S., our most recent TEDx programme reflected on the intricacies, challenges, and beauty inherent in individual and global cultures. Guided by the overarching question What is Culture to You?, student speakers dove into topics covering a myriad of human experiences at the Canadian International School.

“Being at CIS we are exposed to a variety of different cultures every day. We wanted a topic that captured the diversity of our student body while also allowing speakers the range to share on whatever they may be interested in. We sometimes fail to realise how multifaceted and broad culture really is,” shared Lavanya. Our speakers did not disappoint and presented on topics ranging from the influence of digital pop culture, overcoming culture shock, the academic culture surrounding IB students and more.

In addition to being a space for students to refine their communication and public speaking skills, TEDxCIS also provided a formal occasion for students to speak on topics outside the curriculum that nonetheless remain close to their hearts. Specifically our organising committee had the vision to facilitate a platform where diverse voices converge to inspire global understanding. “TEDx is an opportunity to spark connection and discussion among people who value different ideas,” said member of the organising committee Ashlee W.

As an international community with approximately 3,100 students from over 80 nations, diversity is indeed the one thing we all share in common at CIS. “My cultural identity is a mosaic of liminal spaces, woven together, somehow fitting, yet somehow diverging,” shared Cindy T. in her talk on her Buddhist Chimese-Singaporean identity (Chimese being a portmanteau of Chinese and Burmese).

While our student speakers captivated the audience with passionate and engaging speeches, the return of TEDxCIS also enabled members of the organising committee to exercise their leadership, planning and coordination skills. Together, the team took charge of publicising the event, calling for speakers, conducting peer-to-peer coaching sessions on the art of impactful speaking, and ensured that the event went smoothly without any technical difficulties. They even hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on CIS’s Instagram page - the first of any student takeovers on our official social channels.

You may view our students’ TEDxCIS talks below:

Cindy T. Class of 2024
I'm Buddhist and Chimese-Singaporean.

Anna W. Class of 2025
At some point you should start thinking about what's more important, this assignment? or your genetic structure?

Ozgur G. Class of 2025
Modern culture is all about life hacks and efficiency, but what has that done to our work ethic?

Zimo W. Class of 2025
When photography was introduced in the 1820's, critics everywhere called it the "cheapening of art..."

Evelyn L. Class of 2026

Anuva S. Class of 2027
When you go home after this, are you more likely to read a book or scroll through Instagram?