IMSA’s first-ever TEDxYouth@IMSA was hosted on November 16th in the auditorium with five live speakers, numerous attendees, and a live and interactive experience for all ages. The event ran for nearly 7 hours, beginning at 8am and ending at promptly at 3pm. Not only were the speakers presenting live in the auditorium, but with IMSA Student’s Production’s help, the event was livestreamed from IN2 and reach a greater audience.
I was very honored to coordinate such an event. It was amazing to see such a lively atmosphere with students helping run the show, down to every detail. We had an amazing organizing committee and dedicated volunteers who truly made the event possible. But most importantly, the event couldn’t have been possible without our student speakers, who had been practicing and rehearsing for countless hours prior to the event. Here is a quick summary of what each speaker addressed in their TEDx talks:
Ram Kakinada → The Psychology Behind Negotiation
In his talk, Ram addressed the growing need to stand up for our own rights and to be able to successfully negotiate for what matters most to us. Ram not only shared his personal experiences but also techniques that we can employ to attempt negotiating ourselves.
Sophia Pribus → Occupational Mismatch Among Immigrants
Sophie reached the hearts of many in the audience with her moving talk discussing occupational mismatch among immigrants and the toll it takes on their mental and physical wellbeing. She ended her talk with a suspenseful reveal of her firsthand experiences with this issue and how her mom has coped with it so successfully.
Sydney Despe → Gender Expression in Youth
In her talk, Sydney shares the foundational techniques that we can employ in our society and thought processes to help empower youth to express themselves through their gender identity. She shared personal anecdotes and her journey of gender expression to help create a memorable experience for the audience that would truly help make a difference.
Monika Narain → Neurological Disorders and Developing Countries
In Monika’s talk, she acknowledges that although we have made a significant effort in preventing and controlling terrible diseases, and globally educating the public about topics like reproductive health and general hygiene, we haven’t been able to do the same for the brain. Through her talk, Monika urges humanitarian aid efforts in global health to place a stronger emphasis on reducing neurological illness.
Devraj Thakkar → Manipulating the Limbic System to Create Space in Our Schedules
In his talk, Devraj addressed the methods through which our limbic system operates and how we can maximize our space in scheduling by learning about how the limbic system works. He shares personal experiences regarding procrastination and lethargy and the journey he has taken to address these issues.
One semester later, now looking back upon the event we had hosted on November 16th, I am very happy to say that we are very satisfied with the event we put together and the way it flowed. However, I will also say that now looking back a month later, there are certain major takeaways that I have learned about and look forward to addressing in the coming years.
“Objects in The Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.”
With event management, our entire team has definitely now understood the importance of meeting deadlines and keeping things in hindsight, even if it may be 5 months away, because like every car mirror says, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” This goes for planning and coordinating an event, as well, because before you know it, it will be the day of the event, and therefore, it is extremely important to plan well ahead.
Action and flexibility create opportunity.
Throughout the TEDxYouth@IMSA experience, we strived to maintain a flexible attitude and be open to creating change, because as our theme suggested, it is important to Create Space. By remaining open to different factors, we were creating the space for new opportunities to present themselves, but then by also acting upon these opportunities, we maximized our use of those opportunities, which is why both action and flexibility are necessary.
“I love spreadsheets!”
After organizing an event of this caliber, as much as I dislike saying this, I truly have come to love spreadsheets. They have helped us with organizing so many logistics of the event, and when many people are involved with the planning of an event like TEDxYouth@IMSA, organization became essential with us needing to have a designated location for every task we accomplished.
If you rest, you rust.
This might be my biggest takeaway from the entire experience, because learning is an endless process, and quite similarly, so is event management. It is extremely important to keep seeking new opportunities and means of improvement, because it is an event coordinator’s responsibility to adapt to new techniques and find ways to make the next event 100x better, 100x smoother, and 100x more meaningful.