The Oracle

TEDx speakers inspire students to think outside the box

The Oracle

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Written by: Rebecca Alger and Misheel Enkhbat

Fourteen inspirational speakers from the Bay Area and Gunn joined together for the second annual Gunn TEDx event on May 24. TEDx is a program of independently organized events that allow ideas to be spread on a more community-based level. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences are held annually in Long Beach, California and Edinburgh, Scotland along with other events all over the world.  The talks are based on Ideas Worth Spreading, the program’s motto.

The TEDx club at Gunn is based on the popular TED conferences. Because TED conferences can cost thousands of dollars for spectators, students around the country have been starting their own TEDx clubs in order to bring the power of TED talks to their peers.

Gunn is a leader for high schools in bringing TED to campuses. “We were the first high school in the world to have a TEDx club,” TEDx president senior Soham Tikekar said. “Then Harker and a couple of East Coast schools took our lead and started their own clubs.”

Although the club is relatively new and only has a few members, all participants in the club feel that TEDx has allowed them to reach new levels of creativity. “I feel like the club is really fun,” freshman Jamie Shen said. “It’s a great opportunity to share skills and it really inspires me. It serves as a platform for my inspiration.”

Organizing the annual TEDx event requires plenty of preparation, including picking speakers that appeal to the audience. “This year we actually hand-selected students,” Tikekar said. “As for the guest speakers, we had a brainstorm session and thought of people who would be cool to invite.”

The event was student-run and held in the Little Theatre. Speakers at the event ranged from psychologists to CEOs to students. “The  purpose of the event was to incorporate different ideas from a diverse group of people,”Tikhar said.

Speakers at the event discussed ideas from finding true happiness to achieving personal success. The event coordinators looked for people who could inspire others through their experiences. “We didn’t necessarily look for people based on how sucessful they were,” Tikhar said. “Instead, we wanted to find people with stories to tell and experiences to share.”

Art teacher Mark Gleason was one of the speakers at the event.  He wanted the listeners to understood that art and technology can be put together to create a new kind of art.  “I hope the audience will get the sense that we don’t have to be technically adept, and that it’s not the software that does the job, it’s the artistic eye and some plain old problem solving,” he said.

Head anchor for NBC Bay Area News Raj Mathai spoke about how was able to spark his successful newscasting career. He credits his creative job applications as the key to getting his first internship. “You have to be able to be creative, wheather it is college, a job, or whatever,” he said.

According to Mathai, in order to be sucessful, one must differentiate himself from one’s competitors. “Think of finding a job as trying to get inside a house. Everyone will be standing in the front door trying to get in. If you want to increase your chances, you need to find the back door,” he said.

He believes that in order to be successful, hard work is neccessary. “Stay active, stay passionate, and just stay engaged with what you love,” Mathai said.

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TEDx speakers inspire students to think outside the box