Ever been inspired by a TED talk?


Are you one of the billions of people worldwide who have watched a free online viewing of a TED talk? Devoted to ideas worth spreading, TED is a nonpartisan, nonprofit which began in 1984 and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 110 languages. 

While many of us may have watched a TED talk, not many of us can claim to have run a TED conference. In fact, only a few free TEDx licenses are granted each year under strict guidelines. So, imagine our trepidation when Year 11 student, Natasha Huang came to us just over a year ago with the intention of running her own TEDx event at Abbotsleigh. Then imagine our delight when Natasha’s application was successful.

This week, Natasha’s dream came to fruition when Abbotsleigh hosted its first ever TEDx event on Monday 20 August. Natasha, along with her committee of Clementine Hobill Cole, Charlotte Deng, Elizabeth Flaherty, Ann Guo, Winona Lu, Emily Ong, Nikita Sethi, Anna Verheul and Rebecca Whittle, brought together an exciting day of seven inspirational speakers, three performances and two films, followed by a special school assembly.

The theme for the day was DARE and throughout the day we heard from journalists, lawyers, photographers, medical professionals and founders of not for profit organisations. Each of our speakers had embraced the challenge to do something unconventional, to follow a path that questioned the expectations of others. Some dared to achieve, some dared to fail, and some did both.

With the Prefect theme for the year being ‘Dare to Grow’, DARE seemed a natural choice. In the words of our student committee:

At Abbotsleigh, being bold is a concept that we strive for every day and our first ever TEDxYouth@Abbotsleigh will bring the true essence of the word to the stage; from speakers who've dared in their careers, dared to follow a passion or dared to succeed against the odds. Being largely student-driven and supported by teachers, this event will also feature performances from within our school community and be live-streamed.

Daring is applicable in every facet of life, and so we want our audience to come away from the experience having been inspired by our speakers, stimulating discussion and reflection on how they themselves may have challenged assumptions or pushed themselves into the unfamiliar.

We believe that there are infinite ways in which one can dare to break boundaries. It’s time to embrace your quirks and do the things that scare you. After all, only those who dare, truly live.

For our Year 11 committee, and the three guiding teachers, running this project has been an immense learning experience – generating and synthesising ideas, teamwork, communication, collaboration, technology and audio-visual skills, staging, marketing, set design, patience, grit, and sheer courage. The courage to hold a TEDx event!

Of course, all these skills are ones which we encourage every day in the classroom: thinking skills, development of character and connectedness. When the opportunity arises to apply these skills beyond the classroom, it is one which we seize. Deep learning that sticks comes from such experiences; experiences where the risk is high and our girls must tolerate ambiguity, where our girls are unafraid to be awesome.

Abbotsleigh girls dare to take risks. 

What do you dare to do?

To view our video and read about our event, go to www.tedxyouthabbotsleigh.com



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