Looking toward the future when it comes to technology is inevitable because it’s moving lightning fast nowadays. So, it makes sense that TED looks to the younger generations through TEDxYouth because children are our future. When you take a moment to listen, you’ll discover that the younger generation has plenty to say about the world today.
Most people are already familiar with the TED and TEDx talk platforms that select individuals to give esteemed talks about technology, entertainment, and design. Needless to say, not everyone is familiar with the youth division of TED. Taking time to support TEDxYouth will have you believe that the future is in good hands after listening to these kids.
Where is TEDxYouth?
TEDxYouth goes on worldwide, but it was dazzling to find out that in the first state better known as Delaware, TEDxYouth@Wilmington is the only location that offers TEDxYouth wholly comprised of, well, youth. All the speakers are between 12-20-something. Even the co-organizer is only 17 years old.
Kathryn Young is the daughter of TEDxWilmington Organizer Dr. Dan Young, who stands close by, giving parental supervision, but allows his daughter to handle the reigns. Kathryn Young stood on the TEDx stage for the first time when she was only eight to moderate. For the last couple of years, she has taken on more of a role than just “moderator.” She has had a hand in everything from the selection process of choosing speakers to booking the venues for the events. For this year, she selected and secured seven brilliant, youthful minds to grace the stage at a local Wilmington high school and share their ideas worth spreading.
Examples of Ideas Worth Spreading
On a bright fall Sunday in the auditorium of A.I. Dupont High School, an audience listened intently to stories from the teen’s perspective. Several out-of-towners were asked to speak this year, including Abby DeCharme from California, who talked about teenage anxiety, which, according to a recent Pew survey, 70% of students believe anxiety is a significant problem. It has also been noted that 6 out of 10 high school students are being treated for anxiety.
Another out-of-towner was Canadian native Nikki Sikellis, who shone a light on the impact of the male gaze and how it affects women starting at a very young age. A local young man, Zach Marson, shared his life-changing experience when he was brought up on stage with the band Green Day at Delaware’s nationally known Firefly Festival. And Peyton Farrow reminded the audience of the importance of community building and rejecting labels.
All of these topics were incredibly informative and entertaining. However, the popular topic of the day focused on technology. Anuradha Dole spoke about the importance of geography education to protect our future and the course development she created for her local summer camp. Dole believes geography knowledge will improve cultural thinkers and allow people to embrace diversity.
The two remaining technology topics were given by Rohan Konkimalla and Arna Taduvayi, surrounding the beneficial uses of the currently controversial tool known as artificial intelligence.
Can’t Get Enough A.I.
As the population debates the good versus evil of A.I. technology, these two young men cast a bright light on the benefits of artificial intelligence. Konkimalla shared how A.I. can revolutionize the finance world by crunching data at a rate of speed that would take humans a lifetime. By using this intelligence, more humans will have a better understanding of finance and how to benefit.
Taduvayi took on a different angle by focusing on the pros of using A.I. for all ways of life. He empathized with those confused by the technology and suggested that understanding the technology entirely is compared to “teaching a cat physics.”
The audience erupted with laughter. Taduvayi further explained that A.I. doesn’t diminish humanity but augments it. It makes humans question what it really is to be human. A.I. doesn’t have the outstanding qualities of humans, like justice, dignity, and compassion.
Supporting local TEDxYouth programs is a great way to see the thoughts, concerns, and ideas of today’s young adults. We all know that being a TED or TEDx speaker holds high esteem and condones a certain level of clout. Nevertheless, providing kids with a safe space to share their ideas worth spreading is a remarkable achievement for the TED organization. I applaud them for giving youths a place to speak their glorious ideas.