Most of us will be familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks: short, powerful talks to inspire conversation and the sharing of ideas.
In the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program helps communities, organisations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. One step further, TEDxYouth initiatives celebrates young people around the world hosting local events.
MLC has been granted a licence to host our very own TEDx event on Wednesday, 18 April (second day of Term 2) as a student-led initiative, the theme being ‘Embrace to Empower’.
Featuring ten thought-provoking student speakers and performances, students from Years 10-12 are invited to attend these sessions held across Period 2, 3 and 4.
Inspirational talks include ‘Zen – A New Lifestyle’, ‘Empower Yourself Without a Gun’ and ‘Empowering Ourselves Through Fashion’.
Betty Zhang, MLC’s 2018 International Relations Prefect, instigated the event after organising another TEDxYouth event whilst studying on a scholarship year at Albuquerque Academy in the US in 2016.
“I was amazed by how a single event can bring together people from so many walks of life and can lead to so many collaborations between seemingly disparate fields,” Betty says. “At MLC, TED talks are often used to spark discussion and learning in classrooms. My goal in hosting a TEDx event here is to help MLC students find their voice and to create a platform for them to express their ideas and passions.”
Betty is working with a team of close to thirty Year 10-12 students in the organisation of the event, including ticketing, catering, promotion, sponsorship and design.
“I have been inspired by everyone’s enthusiasm for the event and their initiative. From the get go, the students were motivated to contribute to the event and eager to gain new skills in areas like publicity, production, event management, videography and technical support.”
The day will be held in James Tatoulis Auditorium and students from Years 10-12 are able to register to attend the day via the Co-Curricular portal on MyMLC. (Students will be able to sign in and out if they need to attend regular class in between.) Several TED Talk videos will also be shown to further inspire and engage the audience.
Whilst TEDx events have been held in Melbourne, there isn’t much record of a standalone event being held – let alone initiated – by students at a school, making this event all the more special.
“The event has been received with a lot of curiosity and interest from the students,” Betty says. “We have all watched TED talks in class and at home so the concept is not unfamiliar to students. However, everyone was excited by the prospect of giving each other the opportunity to share their ideas through the TEDx platform.”
Many MLC teachers have been very supportive of the event, including volunteering to be mentors to the speakers, and Anne Wallington, Head of Senior School, was happy to be the co-holder of the event licence. “She was really encouraging of the initiative!” Betty says.
Attendance numbers are capped, and student attendees are prioritised along with the parents of the speakers. However there may be an opportunity for parents, alumnae and others in the MLC community to attend. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name/s in the case of vacancies and you would like to attend the TEDx event.
All in all, Betty has found the process rewarding and despite being in her final year of school, is looking into the future. “I would love for the TEDxYouth@MLC event to become an annual tradition,” she says. “One of the best parts of this process has been to connect Senior School students with Year 10 students, and I would love to see the TEDx format extend to other parts of the College in the coming years!”