TEDxTeen is an event that brings thousands of people together to enjoy a TED-like experience. It is presented by the We Are Family Foundation highlighting the work of teens from around the globe and they focus the conversation on teenagers and our ability to change the world.
I attended the TEDxTeen London Conference and it was themed Bold Moves. I went to the conference by myself and it was certainly nerve-wracking, a lot of people came with friends or in large groups and I was all by myself. However, I did make a bold move by speaking to the girl sitting next to me and I learnt a lot about her in the few minutes I spoke to her and from there talking to all these strangers seemed so easy and I met a lot of cool, inspiring young people at the conference.
“There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in”. – Leonard Cohen.
Our generation is the light.
Our problems and issues don’t define us. Our bold moves do.
During the first break session, I decided to go and speak to one of the many phenomenal speakers, social justice activist, Ziad Ahmed. Some of you may know him as the guy who decided to take a bold move that meant a lot to him on his Stanford application by answering the question, “What matters to you, and why?” with the hashtag #BLACKLIVESMATTER and repeating it over 100 times. Ziad delivered an amazing and uplifting talk titled, ‘237 People Changed My Life; Your move’. One of my favourite things that he said was, “How can we cultivate the leaders of tomorrow and today if we aren’t talking about today, let alone tomorrow?”. The session that he delivered was very thought provoking and was definitely a stand out for me. I spoke to him for about 5-10 minutes and we bonded over our love for Chance the Rapper. He is such a nice and inspirational young man who is destined for many great things. I asked him, What has his experience being here at TEDxTeen London 2017 has been like so far and what was his reaction being invited to speak at the conference.
He told me, “TEDxTeen is an amazing opportunity to connect with people and to really embrace a platform that leads to empowering young people and ideas worth spreading in a really thoughtful way. I’ve engaged with the We Are Family Foundation as a global team leader so I was so acquainted with how thoughtful and beautiful the work that We Are Family Foundation does and I was so thrilled to be asked to speak about something that meant so much to me and that it resonated with them meant so much to me. It was a real honour to be here and I recategorize and categorize my experience being here today as one that is refreshing and inspiring. One that motivates me and makes me want to move forward with that much more passion and thought.
The experience I had at TEDxTeen will be one I will never forget. I knew from the start it would be great but it definitely surpassed all of my expectations. Every single speaker and performer resonated with me in different ways. I met so many inspiring young people and every single person I met was absolutely amazing and so welcoming. The atmosphere was very uplifting and it was very evident that everyone was there for the same reason, to gain knowledge and be motivated to make bold moves. Listening to everyone and meeting new people truly inspired me today and I can’t wait for what’s in store.
On a side note, I also met the legendary guitarist and record producer, Nile Rodgers so that made my day.