TEDxIB@YorkSchool 2012 – Taking on the World in our own Backyard
After much preparation and anticipation, close to 350 IB Diploma students, teachers and other interested adults gathered in our Coliseum to attend TEDxIB@YorkSchool this Wednesday, and they were not disappointed. “Stimulating. Thoughtful. Touching. Surprising. Enjoyable. Inspiring.” was one participant’s response. And so it was, as twenty-five speakers, including nine IB Diploma students, helped us explore the theme, “Taking on the World”.
Highlights of the day included one of our own alumni, Adil Dhalla, who, inspired by Jane Jacobs, urged us to “take on our neighbourhoods”. Equally compelling was Peter A. Singer, of Grand Challenges Canada, who presented a recipe for reducing poverty in developing countries. Perhaps, the most fascinating for the students was the story of Corey Vidal, a young entrepreneur whose single YouTube video garnered 17.5 million views and helped “save his life”. Gwynne Dyer, well-known Canadian journalist gave students much to think about in his analysis of the uprisings in the Middle East. And finally, our very own York School parent, Maureen Holloway, of Q107 fame, touched the hearts and funny-bone of us all, as she related her life as a female comedian, and inspired us to use laughter as one of our tools to ‘take on the world’.
Participants were particularly inspired by the well-spoken and passionate Diploma students who shared their own ideas and life stories. Student speakers had come from as far away as Florida and Michigan, and explored everything from the potential for vegetarianism to save the world to the beauty of mathematics. We were thrilled to present Kate Gwozdecky with an IPad, donated by the York Parents Association, for her poised talk about the significance of space research.
In addition to the many talks, participants were entertained with music and spoken poetry, including the lovely voice of Nina Vasu, a Diploma student at the American International School in Chennai, India, and the combined musical talents of our very own Alex Sigel and Willis Dallenbach.
As with past TEDx events run by the school, our students had the delightful experience of sharing their own ideas with other students from a diversity of IB Diploma schools. This was especially true for the few students who stayed on for the Thursday, when they participated in ‘Taking on Toronto’, touring through Toronto under the guidance of our own students.
All in all, TEDxIB@YorkSchool 2012 highlighted the school’s dedication to creating engaging educational experiences.