April 26, 2024

TEDx returns

Ten students will tackle “The New Normal: Youth Voices in A Fractured Age”

TEDx, the world-renowned forum for idea sharing, returns to Andover on April 27. This year’s theme, “The New Normal: Youth Voices in a Fractured Age,” was selected by a group of six students on the TEDx Organizing Committee and OWHL Student Advisory Board. The students aim to highlight the challenges and possibilities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Although the onset of the pandemic was hard, this period also brought hope, energy, and new ideas,” said Camille Torres Hoven, library director.

The students are well aware of how polarized our political climate has become and wanted to show ways to bring people together.

Camille Torres Hoven OWHL Director

The committee put out a call for TEDx talks and received over 40 applications from Andover. Ten students were selected to represent PA and share their ideas with the world. “These students have diligently crafted, edited, and practiced their talks over the last six weeks,” Torres Hoven added. “They have given up their Friday evenings (and more) and we could not be prouder of the ideas they will share with everyone.”

The students will present on topics ranging from jazz, identity, neurodiversity, technology, and more, on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Tang Theatre.

Jazz Musicians Can Change How You Live Your Life

Brandon Fu ’25
How can we use the principles of jazz music to get more out of our lives? Discover the world of the jazz musician with Brandon Fu as he shares how the spirit of closeness, happiness, and improvisation can inspire us to cultivate deeper connections, find moments of joy, and embrace uncertainty with confidence.

The Significance of Slang

Camille Davis ’27
This TEDx Talk is about why we use slang, and how it serves to string together disparate cultures and experiences.

What Does It Mean to Be American?

Kendra Tomala ’26
The identity of being American is difficult to define. With a history full of conflict, we must ensure that our differences do not overshadow our similarities, allowing us to connect as Americans. Anyone can be American, so let us strive to emphasize our cultural overlaps with each other.

Finding Belonging in Queer Labels

Keren Song ’26
In this talk, Keren describes the journey of LGBTQ+ youth seeking answers to questions about their identity, especially in the face of societal challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a brief walk through the history of queer labels and modern phenomena, she explains the importance of queer terminology in finding belonging. The talk calls for collective action to ensure that everyone can have the words to answer their questions of identity and belonging.

Altruism and Our Kinship Crisis

Laerdon Kim ’24
The origin of unreciprocated kindness is mysterious and misunderstood. How can we repair our fractured social bonds; our new normal?

Writing Black Agency into Our Sentences

Leilani Glace ’25
“Writing Black Agency into Our Sentences" serves as a poignant reminder of the often-overlooked capabilities of Black individuals. Acknowledging Black power has never been simpler; all it takes is a few sentences—and the active voice.

A Revolutionary Idea Without a Revolutionary Change

Mia Isacson ’26
This TEDx Talk is about the change that needs to happen within the education system to accommodate Neurodivergent students. The talk also addresses how the current education system impacts the growing population of neurodivergent students.

Re-Motivating a Tech-Hindered Age

Ryan Nasserzadeh ’24
At a time when we are addicted to surrounding ourselves with perfection, we are hard-wiring ourselves to resent hardship. How can we find the motivation to act on our goals if we are too scared to go through the inevitable process of failing? This talk discusses why our devices are killing our motivation, and how we need to start fearing not seeing the success on the other side of our failures.

“Gene”sis: Hope, Hype, and Hubris

Sahana Manikandan ’26
Gene editing offers hope and life to millions impacted by chronic diseases and congenital conditions and can unlock a healthy future for patients and their families. Yet, ethical concerns loom large: altering genes risks erasing unique identities and homogenizing humanity. As we navigate this new frontier, we must tread carefully, ensuring that progress doesn't overshadow diversity and the essence of what it means to be human.

The Not-So-Secret Relationship Between Fossil Fuel Companies and Universities

Sebastian Lemberger ’25
Everyone knows that fossil fuel companies love disinformation and greenwashing, but the rabbit hole goes far deeper than one might imagine, extending even into leading research universities. For several decades, fossil fuel companies have shaped research agendas in universities across the world to misinform the public and stop progress on climate change. Lemberger will discuss how oil and gas companies are infiltrating higher education and what we can do about it.

Categories: Academics

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