Last weekend saw the successful launch of the first TEDxYouth@BIFS event at Busan International Foreign School (BIFS). An offshoot of the popular TED series, which was started in California nearly 30 years ago, the TEDxYouth events are aimed at giving a voice to the world’s up-and-coming generation.
Event organizer Brendan Lea, said that forums such as these are essential to give students a chance to speak up on issues they consider most important to them.
I was inspired by TEDxTokyoTeachers, where I attended, and I always felt that students aren’t necessarily given a voice so they don’t share their ideas, said Lea, who is also an elementary school educator at BIFS.
Per TED stipulations, the audience was limited to 100 and this year’s inaugural program featured 15 speakers on a variety of topics ranging from age and gender issues to inspiration and personal motivation.
According to Sung-Woo Jho, a BIFS student who opened the event with fellow student Alex Lang, it was a challenge to prepare for TEDxYouth@BIFS.
I did not get to sleep until 3 or 4 am, said Jho. It was necessary, as on some points I didn’t satisfy the topic, I was going off track, or it was inappropriate. The transition was another big part of the problem, as I had different details, but wasn’t sure how to connect them.
15-year-old student Jeni Hsing, who gave a talk entitled Beneath Your Skin, sees the TEDxYouth@BIFS talks as a great forum for young people to get ideas across to fellow students.
It can be difficult to get people to listen, especially at a young age, which emphasizes what an amazing opportunity it truly was, said Hsing. There was a great range of topics, both serious and light-hearted. All talks were original, reflecting the amount of time and effort that was put into them.
BIFS principal Stephen Palmer was very pleased with with how the school’s first event fo this kind turned out.
The talk was inspirational. The students, the adult speakers and everybody had messages to put across, which meant something to everybody.
I was also one of the participants and I personally enjoyed doing TEDxYouth@BIFS, especially because I like speaking publicly. I was very nervous right up until the moment my talk began.
I was glad that audience gave their undivided attention to the talk and I hope they understood the message I was trying to make and spread the ideas to others. I would definitely do TEDxYouth@BIFS again but with a different, unique topic. I really hope there is this kind of opportunity again!
Jeni Hsing and Sung-Woo Jho contributed to this article.
Photos by Ceejay Jader