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TEDxYouth 2021

On Saturday 10 April, ISP livestreamed the 6th annual TEDxYouth@ISPrague, curated by, organised by, and featuring Upper School students. This year’s TEDx included Upper School students, alumni, and invited guest speakers, including Peter Sís, all centered around the theme, Unpredictable.

Please see the full program here and on this day of employee appreciation, join us in extending a huge thank you to Mr. Lawrence Hrubeš(who started the TEDxYouth tradition at ISP) and co-advisor Ms. Madeleine Cox. 

Previous years’ talk playlists can be found on the official TEDx Youtube channel under TEDxYouth@ISPrague. This year’s videos of the talks will be available online soon. Meanwhile, please read the following reflections of three student speakers and the two senior organizers and curators who shared what they learned when persisting with such a rich and relevant challenge this year. 

Organizers and Curators

Bety Pechacová and Diana Tretyakova were the two Grade 12 student curators, the key event organizers for this year’s event. 

Bety Pechacová: “I have always been a big fan of TED and TEDx talks so I was excited when I joined ISP to attend or get involved with TEDx here – in my 3 years at the school I was an attendee, then a speaker and finally a curator (student organizer). I have especially enjoyed the last role because it gave me a chance to actively influence the preparation and running of the event and seeing the amazing team of organizers and speakers bring so many great ideas to life was a unique and wonderful experience. Of course, we all wish that we could have had a live event in the theatre like in previous years but I’m still proud of what we achieved throughout the past year.

First of all, I must say that I have really enjoyed organizing the event and working with everyone, although most of it was done during distance learning. Besides just learning from the talks themselves, I have learned a lot about teamwork and taking initiative, and about managing such a project despite all the challenges we faced. I will definitely remember this experience and I would love to get involved with TEDx at university as well. And of course, I will try to come back to ISP for future TEDx events, I already can’t wait.

I would definitely encourage everyone to get close to TEDx in some way, whether as an attendee, a speaker or an organizer. To future students leaders, I would like to say that they should not be afraid to change things and improve TEDx at ISP, especially if it’s still going to be online because there are many possibilities that we have not taken advantage of yet.

Diana Tretyakova: “I chose to be involved in the TEDx production because I already participated in TEDx last year and thought it was a very gratifying experience. I wanted to participate in something creative and help to share new ideas not only with our ISP community but beyond.

As our event was completely online this year, I definitely learned how to be more flexible when organizing events. Arguably, an online event required even more preparation and organization from our team. Not knowing whether the event would be held live or digitally, our team had to prepare for very different scenarios, while later on finding ways in which it would be best to reach everyone digitally. Therefore, my advice to future TEDx leaders is to be flexible and be ready for different outcomes and scenarios. Something not going the way you planned for it to, is not an indicator of failure, but an opportunity to do something new.”

Speakers

Shaan Suri, a pianist, clarinet player and self-taught composer, shared his thought process when composing, followed by a recorded performance of him playing clarinet with a small ensemble.  

 “I knew that TEDx every year required some musical “filler performances”, and I realized that this could be an amazing opportunity for me to share my music with the ISP community and with the world. Working with students, teachers, and professional musicians to get my piece performed/filmed was an experience that I’ll never forget and gave me incredible insight into the practical side of composing, something that I had always done sitting at my desk or at the piano. Finally, it was suggested to me that I offer a short spoken intro regarding my process— and so what was originally meant to be just a performance turned into a mini-TEDx talk of its own. Despite the inexhaustible list of challenges that the coronavirus seemed to throw at us, we progressed slowly but surely, until last Saturday’s amazing event. 

Having a passion is great, but being empowered to voice that passion and share it with the world is life-changing— that is what ISP’s TEDx event has taught me.

A massive thank-you to everyone involved!

Upper School student Elizabeth Carleton shared how she faced the challenge of being a new kid, moving, being a teenager and managing her anxiety disorder through her involvement in sport, as a committed rower.

Please listen to Elizabeth’s Video  reflection on how being involved in TEDx this year helped her better understand her anxiety and actually work through it. She encourages others to “just go for it” if they are interested in giving a talk and “be ready to work.” She also gives the wise advice of choosing a topic you care about because the more heart, the more the audience will see and connect to what you’re saying.

Maria Kotova, a ‘third culture child’, shared the connection between language and identity through personal experiences and linguistic analysis. Her passion about learning languages came through clearly in her talk.

“I chose to do my Tedx talk because I wanted to share my experience about learning languages. I have always been very interested in learning languages and have done many projects about this topic, so I figured this would be a good idea to share my ideas!

I learned how to structure a speech and how important it is to balance facts with personal stories. I also learned that even if the project of producing a well-polished speech is not easy with many steps along the way, it is rewarding and has taught me many valuable skills. 

A piece of advice I have is to just go ahead and try this project to share something you’re really passionate about!”

Thank you for the persistence and passion of the entire team involved in making TEDxYouth@ISPrague happen during this extraordinary year.

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