A red dot on the floor, seven speakers and a loaded theatre hall. That’s all you need for a successful first edition of TEDx Youth!
TED is the abbreviation for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The X stands for independently organized event. A worldwide concept. The ‘youth’ version is an event especially for 16 to 22 year old youngsters. Speakers tell the audience about what inspires them in life in a maximum of 18 minutes. They can tell about their own expertise or about a certain project, or just about a thought of which they think is important to share with the world. The speeches aren’t like the presentations about your hamster you held on primary school, but the speeches are stories that can inspire people and help them to make choices in the future. In short: ideas worth spreading.
Ruben Vaatjes is a student Small Business and Retail Management and is part of the organization of TEDx Youth. He thinks that it’s important that there is a youth version of TEDx aside from the ‘grownup’ version. “The youth has the future. Ideas should be shared with the next generation. It’s important that people inspire them and TEDx is a good way to achieve that.” And this all starts in the little hall of the Oosterpoort theatre.
Every seat was taken and the audience looked at the red spot in the middle of the hall full of expectations. During the evening there were seven speakers, followed by a hiphop dance crew. One speaker talked about fruit flies having sex & Alzheimer, another one talked about professional sports & injuries and another one about the future of drones (the audience was very clear about this: drones should deliver pizza!). “The speakers are all young, so they’re very close to the target group”, tells Ruben.
One person of the organization knows how it is to get inspired at a young age. The 14 year old Gijs creates designs for banners on YouTube and sells it to companies. For TEDx he created the website and he managed the social media. “My father is also a graphical designer and I saw other people doing this job, because of that I also got the idea to start doing this”, tells Gijs. “Exactly like the idea of TEDx Youth!”, added Gijs. He thinks that the youth version of TEDx is important because everything is allowed and everything is possible.
There are a lot of possibilities in Groningen says Ruben. “In Groningen you can find a lot of youth. Groningen has a growing climate for young entrepreneurs. Despite that there are people who claim the city empties. Don’t believe them, it all happens here!
About the next edition of TEDx Youth Ruben and Gijs are very clear. “There will be a second edition”, both smiling. With that promise we’ve marked a spot in our agenda for next year.
By Beppie van der Sluis