By Shenny Pieries, 4 Jan 2013
On Saturday, November 17th the Winchester School hosted one of the most exhilarating, awe-inspiring and mind-blowing event in Winchester history. For those of you who still may not know what I’m talking about, it’s the TEDxYouth@Winchester and TEDxWinchesterTeachers events.
On Thursday 15 November, the Tedx committee members along with some volunteers, Mr. Roberts (TEDx organizer) and Lara (co-organizer), gave up our early weekend to prepare the setting and décor. We started the day with the predicted donuts and juice that has been brought by our wonderful Lara. Each of the Tedx committee members was given a board to decorate which was presented in the Secondary reception to be looked upon with awe. The auditorium was transformed into a quirky yet classy layout with a touch of brilliance and grandeur in the atmosphere. The stage was a magnificent TEDx-red, which was the cherry on top of the icing. Beside the stage were two huge screens that would project a live twitter feed and the live-stream. Now all it needed was the speakers and the audience.
Finally, the much anticipated day has arrived. For our speakers, the day started at 8 a.m, as soon as we arrived, we could feel the nervous and exciting tension that was vigorously building up inside all of us just waiting to unleash as we proceeded onto the stage. Each of the speakers wore a T-shirt or hoodie from The Imaginary Foundation, a think tank from Switzerland that does experimental research on new ways of thinking and the power of imagination. Their quote “Think of an exciting desirable future and pull the present to meet it” was that last puzzle piece that perfectly completed our event, thus we decided to wear their exquisite art-work as T-shirts and hoodies, and I believe everyone would agree that the speakers looked absolutely stunning in them.
The audience registered at our reception which has also been‘TEDx-ified’ (as some of us would like to call it), on a long table covered in a scarlet red satin were frames of the speakers outlining their talk and on the left side of the room, two of our volunteers, Amir and Osama, welcomed the audience with a pleasant smile and registered them in. After registering and receiving one’s lanyard, you would be astounded by the corridor that led to the auditorium. The lights were switched off but it was far from being pitch black. The roof was magnificently lit with neon lights that twinkled and sparkled, portraying the look and feel of the cosmos. It was literally as if you were walking in space, surrounded by breathtaking galaxies and planets.
The event started with an introductory video and a warm welcome from our organizer, Rohan Roberts. The ambience was filled with sheer excitement, after all the grueling hard work and preparation, after all endless hours of commitment, after all the sleepless nights of practice, we’ve finally arrived, here and now. This is what ran through all the speakers’ minds; that we made it. Around the world thousands of people have been gathering to experience the power of ideas, 42 languages, 96 countries, 1403 past events, 2 million men and women in Dubai, 384,000 km to the moon, 16,000 ted talks, 3500 students at Winchester, 3,200 events held globally, 265 schools in Dubai, 100 global Tedx events happening on Nov.17th, 90 nationalities at Winchester, 24 hours in a day, 20 youth speakers, 5 minutes each, 4 Tedx youth events in Dubai, 3 hours of sharing ideas, 2 hosts and ONE EVENT.
As each speaker went up and gave the talk of their lives, the audience was mind-blown with awe-inspiring ideas and voices that simply astounded the basis of their being. Talks that outlined questions such as: What if we could create infinite minds? What if we upgraded our morality? What if beauty were an illusion? What if we took a cosmic perception? What if our reality were a computer simulation? What if we didn’t need sleep? What if we could control the brain? And many more brilliant ideas and talks. It wasn’t only the audience at the event that were awestruck but also our online viewers, many of whom have been tweeting and commenting through the live feed which appeared on the huge screen beside the stage as each speaker spoke. Our global audience and tweeps landed our hash tag #TedxWinchester to be trending at 2ndplace in the U.A.E. and if that’s not enough, we got a shout out from Jason Silva himself!
Finally, the whole Tedx@Winchester event ended with a bang! With a breathtakingly wondrous performance by our co-organizer Lara Matossian. She enacted her talk with absolute grace and poise, dancing, twirling and acting as she owned the stage elegantly. It was literally the perfect ending to the most unforgettable and exhilarating event of our lives so far. And I am undoubtedly and unbelievably grateful to have been part of such an event. For those of you who missed watching it live stream, don’t fret, our link shall forever be online to be viewed over and over again. Because believe me when I say, you will be AMAZED.