Beijing Kaiwen Academy (KIWA) held its first TEDx event on June 1, 2018. More students got the opportunity to stand on an international stage and speak loudly before a worldwide audience. KWA secondary school students, especially, got to experience the mystic and great power of speech.
With the theme “In youth, this is the way I have”, the event was intended for teenagers to express their views on self-development, interpersonal relationships, and typical social issues, and show their outlook on life, values, and the world.
KWA officially obtained TEDx authorization in 2018. This event took the form of open recruitment and interview screening. All KWA students in Grade 6-11 could apply as an individual or as a team. The interview focused on three aspects: whether the content of a speech conformed to TEDx’s philosophy; whether the content was novel enough; and whether the speaker(s) had excellent English expression and basic stage skills. After three rounds of interview screening, four groups of students emerged and obtained the opportunity to share their views on stage.
In the following one and a half months, the students actively searched for materials and integrated speech content. The instructors, program leaders, and Academic Principal Wang Shi all offered their professional suggestions to help the students expand and perfect their ideas.
The themes of the four speeches were “If you can choose your gender, are you willing to be a girl?”, “Effective communication”, “The way to be myself in music”, and “iPet.” The students described the frustrations, difficulties, and confusion that they experienced in the growth process, as well as the joys and inspiration that they gained in the process of exploring interests and making friends. “The students are all excellent, and they have views that are definitely worth hearing,” teacher Tracy, one of the program leaders, said proudly after listening to the students’ speeches.
“If you can choose your gender, are you willing to be a girl?” was the theme of the speech by 10th grader Shu Qixuan. Shu’s speech covered topics such as family definition, a self-experience statement, a description of gender inequality, and an interpretation of data on abandoned infants in China. The rich research content and profound ideas of the speech shocked the teachers and students present.
Shu said, “I come from a divorced family. My father’s wish for a baby boy was the main reason for the family breakdown. I have been very interested in sociological studies in the field of gender discrimination and I was fortunate to have met a group of like-minded partners after participating in the China Thinks Big (CTB) Challenge. I hope that more people will join us and understand the importance of gender equality, so that we can eliminate gender discrimination in our society as soon as possible.” The “Desert Winds and Clouds” team led by Shu Qixuan won the honor of “Outstanding Hackathon Project” in the 2018 CTB Challenge. In addition, they created a WeChat official account called “Desert Winds and Clouds” to continue their research in related fields.
Meng Ziyuan and Jia Zixi, two 10th-grade students, jointly completed the “Effective communication” speech. On stage, Meng Ziyuan described her experience of studying first at a school in the United States and then at KWA. She emphasized the importance of effective communication with friends, teachers, and parents, and provided ways to improve the effectiveness of communication.
Eleventh graders Xie Xiaoyi and Xu He made a speech titled “The way to be myself in music.” Through telling their own experiences in the field of music creation, they demonstrated their life creed of daring to pursue dreams and sticking to their ideals. At the scene, Xie Xiaoyi also sang his latest original song, “0406”, and drew waves of cheers.
Du Yufan, Wang Leyang, Zhou Wenqi, and Chen Xuanyi from the 7th grade displayed their entrepreneurial project—“iPet”, which is an app committed to creating a good living community for pets. The content of the “Global Youth Leadership Camp” course has inspired the students in developing this app. “Global Youth Leadership Camp”, a co-curricular course with 7th-grade class advisers Liu Xiangchen and Wei Zhen as instructors, was offered to transmit the entrepreneurial spirit and develop students’ leadership, design thinking, and communication skills.
Teacher Elle, one of the program leaders, said, “KWA has been working hard to find a professional stage for students to express themselves and demonstrate their academic ability. We started to apply for TEDx authorization at the end of last year. We submitted lots of information and repeatedly communicated with the organizer. In the process, we once had to apply all over again because of content adjustment. Although the application process was hard, we were very happy when we saw our students enjoying the stage so much.”
KWA encourages students to freely express their ideas. The school has made unremitting efforts to provide them with resources and opportunities to help them expand their areas of interest and demonstrate their talents. In the future, we will hold more professional activities like TEDx, so that our students can have better training opportunities.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan, and Daniel Kahneman.
TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the TED Translators Program, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.
All videos have been uploaded to our Youku official account. Those interested can click the link below to watch.