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HUMANS OF ISP: The People in our Community

Stories have the power to connect us, empower us, and teach us.  Here at ISP, we are a diverse and international community with so many beautiful stories to tell – stories of our families, our passions, our challenges, and our triumphs. Humans of ISP will give a glimpse into the lives of some of the many interesting people of ISP. 

Students, parents, teachers, alumni, share your story with us ( and let’s keep building connections across our ISP community. 

HUMANS of ISP: Sofia, TEDx, and Language as a Vehicle of Human Resilience

Interview by Gabriella, Grade 11

TEDxYouth@ISPrague is an annual event hosted by  ISP that features student and teacher presentations that support  TED’s mission of  “ideas worth spreading”. This year, the TEDx event will feature 9 speakers and will be held on 1 October in the Landau Theater. One of these speakers is Sofia, an 11th Grade student who is investigating language as a vehicle of human resistance and adaptability. The following is an interview with her detailing her journey through the TEDx process. 

Sofia, can you tell me a little bit about your topic?

Yes of course! In my speech, I look at two different examples to illustrate how humans have persevered in the face of oppression over time. One of them is the ancient script of Nüshu, from 9th century China, which when spoken- both men and women could understand, but when written- was unintelligible to men. I also look at how emojis have been used as a method of communication and to surpass censorship of modern governments – Russia in particular.

What prompted you to choose this topic, and what does it mean to you?

Though I had heard and attended TEDx previously, I had never been able to come up with the right topic. Last year, however, I was fortunate enough to take an academic writing and speaking class with Mr. Hrubeš, where one of the projects was to create a mock TEDx speech. This really allowed me to struggle through the writing and revision process, connect ideas together, and by the end of the unit, it was time to apply for TEDx. The timing was phenomenal. I ended up going in with what I had practiced in class and it worked out perfectly!

Do you have any tips for future TedX speakers?

Consistency is key. You’ll hear that from anyone, but I feel it’s especially true here- you can’t learn a speech in a day. As you are constantly receiving so much wonderful feedback from so many people, it’s also important to really be open to criticism and potential changes in your speech.

If you’re looking to do TEDx in the future, choose a topic you are passionate about and that you think is important, because that passion will definitely translate to the audience when you perform.

If you are interested in learning more from Sofia about the power of language, or any of our other talented students and their topics, please join us on Saturday to celebrate their hard work! 

TEDx is a local way for communities around the globe to employ TED’s mission of ​​ “ideas worth spreading”. It allows for passionate students to share and uncover meaningful concepts, and eventually perform and share them in front of an audience. ISP’s student team produces the annual TEDxYouth@ISPrague event in the fall, with speakers preparing speeches throughout the spring and summer.

Reserve your tickets now: