The day: February 17, 2018. The place: Westlake High School Auditorium with 500+ people in attendance. The event: the 6th annual TEDxYouth@Austin conference. Committed to ideas worth spreading through the young people of ATX and beyond, 60+ volunteers worked year-round to organize this one-day event featuring inspiring speakers and performers and an array of innovational exhibits in the interactive xChanges and xPeriences portions. The year's theme was Discomfort Zone, highlighting the need for uncomfortable conversations to make change.
And who better to help the audience explore these ideas than project managers, Matthew Kearney and Sophie Guess, and sub-team directors Nirali Devgan, Zane Giordano, and Kate Lee. The team, along with the guidance of mentors, Carol Reese and Nancy Giordano, set out to build an event that creates uncomfortable situations in order to facilitate discourse.
We had an incredible line up of speakers and performers: Doreen Lorenzo, Naran Shettigar, Susannah Joffe, Zuby Onwuta, Big Wy’s Brass Band, Saanya Bhargava, and Ashish Gadnis. And to complement, we had outstanding assortment of xPeriences, some of which included dancing, drawing, robots, and golf, and xChanges, where we put participants into teams of strangers to solve strange puzzles.
We fed our curiosity, learned to connect through discourse, and made ourselves uncomfortable. We engaged each other through ideas worth spreading.