TEDx Youth 2021 @ ISP

Our 7th TEDxYouth@ISPrague featured a wide range of ideas curated by, organised by, and featuring our Upper School students and select guests. Co-organized by Mr. Lawrence Hrubeš along with student leader Maria Kotova and faculty advisor Springs Pacelli, those attending this year’s event in person, enjoyed for the first time ever, the light and space of the ISP Innovation Hub.

The official event page has an overview of all ten speakers’ talks. We will share videos of all talks as they become available online in the coming months. Meanwhile, the following are a few insights from those involved in the months of hard work that culminated in last Sunday’s event. Please read on to hear how the technical crew and speakers persisted in this challenge they took on and gained lifelong competencies.

Behind the scenes: Jana Findlay, John Denis Jarolímek, Liz Carleton and IB Film students worked endless hours before and during the event to ensure a consistently high quality experience for the live and future audiences.

Aadya Khanna, Grade 9, acknowledges that  2020 was a difficult year for most people around the world. Stress of moving for the first time as a MS student, combined with strict lockdowns, Aadya found hope in music. She is a guitarist and aspiring composer who often listens to jazz and classical music. 

Following the event, Adaya shared how the TEDx youth improved her confidence, having never imagined she would speak on a stage. She shared, “I wondered if I could actually do a TED talk but the nearer the event came, it became a part of my daily routine of practicing and memorizing. I also got to know about the other speakers and their lives. The nervousness that all the speakers felt helped us bond together.”

Eldar Ulanov shared the 16-year journey he has taken so far, through his own language maze. Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Eldar has also learned Czech and English, in addition to his mother tongue. 

Having applied to TEDx because he thought it would look good on his resume, Eldar shares, “As I dove deeper, I really enjoyed it and had a passion to actually give the talk. If someone truly finds something they can passionately talk about on stage, the speech will be good.” 

Eldar said there were many learnings gleaned from preparing for and delivering this talk, but highlighted that focusing on the audience’s perspective was paramount. 

“Obviously things such as organisation, time management, all those came into play. However I think the biggest thing I learned was actually thinking of others’ perspectives. Knowing what the audience would like, how I presented myself on the stage was single handedly the best skill I learned. I will definitely carry this lesson with me forever for future presentations and hopefully future public speaking events. Knowing how to grab, and sustain their attention is something I can use for public speeches but also in day to day life conversations. I like public speaking so hopefully whether it is at ISP or in any of my future endeavours, I aim to use these skills to share my ideas with others.”

“This TedX talk has shown me the power a student truly has in at least ISP, even though it may sometimes feel little. I’m hoping to extend this knowledge to other students eventually as with the new club I have created with Joel Alsterlind (another one of the TedX talkers) called Unity Club.  We aim to connect students from other international schools of Prague to share all sorts of stories and ideas to inspire each other.”

Special Guests: This year’s TEDx at ISP included two special guests. Our chef, cookbook author and parent, Cameron Stauch, shared great insights into his internationally mobile and third culture family that uses food to create “home” regardless of where they currently are located around the world.

Nicolas Marquez Grant is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist with 20 years’ experience examining human skeletal remains. Through his talk, he shared his fascinating profession while making the audience realize the importance and value of figuring out and sharing the stories of those voices we can no longer hear.

We greatly appreciate the extensive time, effort, and energy the TEDx Youth team put into this year’s event. Your persistence and passions will spread important ideas and influence others around the world. Thank you for being a changemaker.