By: Anthony Veltri ’14, Guest Writer
12 TEDx talks from prominent speakers address a diverse audience of Thunderbird students, staff, faculty along with Glendale area youth.
With only days left until TEDxYouth@Glendale, the team is working hard to finalize plans and create the best experience possible for you. Over the past weeks an additional number of T-Birds have joined the ranks of the TEDx team, donating their time and expertise to manifest a vision that has been in the making for more than a year. Thunderbird clubs are also collaborating to enhance attendees’ experience and merge the ideals of TED and Thunderbird in line with the theme “World in Mind”.
Thunderbird Emerging Market Business Association’s (TEMBA) Bazaar, an event that showcases TEM labs and opportunities in emerging markets, gives regional clubs the opportunity to educate students on their cultures and industries, will now be held on April 18. This change of date provides attendees with access to the regional clubs, assists the TEDx team in reducing expenditures while also easing the strain on TEMBA for multiple setups. It also helps the TEDx team have a better chance of attaining access to the High Impact Fund, for which they have recently applied and are awaiting a response.
Additionally, various sporting clubs, including Cricket and Rugby, will be attending to engage the attendees and teach them about sports from around the globe. The participation of these Thunderbird organizations will fill out the sponsor section and give all those attending a huge variety of added activities, besides the scheduled workshops and talks. The presence of these clubs by no means indicates a deficit in content, though, as 13 live speakers/performers have formally confirmed their attendance, three workshops will take place after the talks, and the list of partners is at 22 and is still growing.
Partners range from the City of Glendale and Arizona’s own Sedona Mago Retreat, to Pepsi, American Express, and Fry’s. There have also been substantial donations by individuals within the community who believe in the event’s mission and wish to assist in its impact. These individuals are also responsible for connecting the team with the wonderful local speakers who plan to inspire and engage the audience.
Along with the packed schedule, the team is quickly securing attendance nearing their cut-off mark of 700 people. They have extended invitations to Thunderbird staff and students and also have crafted a mobile photography competition via Instagram to stimulate engagement, fill seats, and award free books provided by the speakers. At this point the issue is less about filling seats, and more about reaching everyone who wishes to share the experience. Troy Kinney, the team’s contact for securing the high school audience has communicated that the students’ excitement is palpable. Not a day passes when he is not approached by students, inquiring about the event or attendance opportunities.
To remedy this excess in demand, the team plans on streaming all the talks and performances via Livestream, an online streaming platform that donated free access to an account. The stream will be available to all interested parties via the TEDxYouth@Glendale website. There are, however, 100 seats available to students but they are being filled fast. So, if you can’t attend, make sure you tune in online!
RSVP is not the only way to get in, though. At least 17 current Thunderbird students have locked in their space by graciously contributing their time as TEDx volunteers. The team has expressed the utmost gratitude to these individuals who will be in the thick of the action on April 18, being tasked with the responsibility of setting up, signing in guests, and ensuring a smooth and engaging event for participants. Luckily, there are still open spaces and any other interested parties are more than welcome to contact the team for information about how they can help.
It’s safe to say that the event, which started out as whispers is indeed happening. While its viewership and attendance can be easily measured, the scale of its influence will surpass those hard numbers. When asked “what one idea do you want the attendees to leave with?” Curator Mohammed Abu Zeinab (AZ) made it clear that “one idea” is not the point. He responded, “a lot of the participants who attend these events gain the most value when they come out with different ideas, experiences, and opinions, because then they can then converse with different people about what it is they reflected on and what it is they gained.” It is less about them extracting the presented message, verbatim, and more about them finding something that resonates with them.
Abu Zeinab illustrated that this characteristic of TED is inherent in Thunderbird when he went on to say, “Everybody has come from a different background, everybody has come from different experiences, and jobs, and opportunities, and cultures, and they’re all here in one place to have a conversation. To bring all the bridges together and close the gaps. That’s TED and that is Thunderbird. We are so aligned, we couldn’t be in a better location.” Interestingly enough, when preparing his speakers for their “Talks,” Abu Zeinab presents them with two slides. The first says, “On April 18, you will be joining one global stage,” and the second, “On April 18 you will be coming to 1 Global place”.
It couldn’t be said any better. So, I will close by stealing an extremely clever and extraordinarily accurate set of statements from TEDxYouth@Glendale’s curator. I invite you to join the inspired speakers, generous partners, and honored guests in experiencing one global stage at our very own, 1 Global place.
Those who wish to volunteer or participate in the event must do so by following the below links and completing their forms before April 10th.
Follow the links below to access TEDxYouth@Glendale social media sites and experience the “World in Mind.”