13 Jul, 2021
10 : 00
West Bund Museum, the new cultural landmark in Shanghai, is welcoming a TEDx event jointly organised by YCIS Shanghai, YWIES Shanghai Lingang, YWIES Shanghai Gubei and YWIES Zhejiang Tongxiang on 27 June. From 10.30 am to 7 pm, YCYW teachers and students will showcase their creativity and display their works through talks, concerts, exhibitions and workshops.
How Does a Nine-Hour TEDx Eventgrab Audience’s Attention?
TED, the acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a private non-profit organisation based in the US. TED is well-known for its influential conferences available online, with a belief in 'ideas worth sharing'. In 2009, TED developed the TEDx project, with 'x' standing for independently organised TED events.
21-Month Long Preparation
YCYW started preparing for its second TEDx event 21 months ago. Originally planned for last year to a scale similar to the first one, the event was meant to be solely hosted by YCIS Shanghai. However, the unexpected pandemic derailed the plan, and prompted YCYW educators to ponder why not expanding the scope to cover more grounds in East China and creating a bigger stage for students? Thus here it came the idea of a collaboration among five campuses.
The theme of this year's TEDx event, 'Together, Building a Better World', was the first item to be determined. It converges three meanings:
The YCYW TEDx journey officially began after the theme was confirmed.
TEDx Talks are the highlights of the event. The youngest among all 53 speakers is only 10 years old, who studies at YCIS Shanghai.
Topics that range from social anxiety, AI generated play writer, electric cars and the future to trust reflect on the present and predict the future. The observation and analysis from the children’s perspectives spur our curiosity and expectation.
Dr Christopher Hurley (Chris) is the Director of Teaching and Learning at YCIS Shanghai, who is also the main curator and person-in-charge of the TEDx event. One of his main roles is to select children from different campuses to go on stage.
Angelos from YCIS Shanghai Year 7 combined his talk with an experiment. He noticed that motorcyclists are vulnerable to hidden dangers on the road so he came up with a helmet prototype. Using a variety of electronic sensors and a microcomputer, the helmet actually communicates with other helmets nearby to share data, such as velocity, temperature and humidity, which can help protect the driver. "It is small, but all-encompassing," as commended by Chris and two other judges.
They appreciated the small invention from meticulous observation of the real world that addresses practical problem solving. Angelos passed easily as a finalist.
YWIES Shanghai Lingang Year 7 student Jason certainly gave it his best shot in preparing for his TEDx Talk. However, he was too nervous at audition and was not able to perform within expectations. The judges concluded that he was not able to proceed to the next stage.
At debrief, the three judges commiserated with Jason’s loss. "Although Jason's lacked clarity, I was captivated and couldn't help to keep listening." This comment made by the Drama Teacher resonated with Chris. Therefore, the three judges decided to give Jason another chance. Jason disclosed that on his topic about 'quarrel', he had originally recited an emotion less introduction. While standing on stage, he suddenly decided to improvise and present his self-reflection and personal story on 'the value of quarrelling'. The lack of preparation stumbled him.
Chris was moved by his sharing. Authenticity, originality, charisma and creativity are the essence of TEDx Talks. These qualities preside over ostentatious language and expression. Just like Jason's performance, it might not be perfect, but it was impactful.
An important component of the TEDx event series is an exhibition which will feature over 300 exhibits created by YCYW students, either individually or collectively, ranging from art, technology, humanities project, to name a few. Embodying the school motto to 'align with science and technology, with culture and arts, with love and charity', these creations are not custom made for the exhibition. Art and technology have long been infused with the everyday learning and experience of the students. In this domain, our students have been reimaging the world with self-reflection and innovation. What criteria do the submitted works have to meet to make it to the shortlist? Chris explains that the decision made by the judges will be based on the following questions:
One Identity Speaking of his expectation towards the second TEDx event, Chris hopes that audiences will be inspired by the ideas presented and go forth to spread the word in the wider community to spark discussions and reflections. "For me, the current world is a wonderful place. When we come together, we start to dream, imagine and build. In this way, we find creativity and innovation." We all have a shared identity as a human being on earth, despite the various roles we play in the society. All of us should contribute to the world’s better tomorrow.
"It is often said that children are our future. In my view, everyone is the future. When parents and their children, teachers and students form a united front, they become a common humanity that empowers each of them with the stewardship to create a future."