Big ideas are democratic. They can come from anyone, even—or perhaps, especially—teenagers.
Last school year, I was honored to serve as the speaker coach for TEDxYouth@Okoboji
. It was a job for which I was emphatically not qualified.
But it was also awesome. Over the course of multiple months, I worked with eight students and one adult as they refined thoughts, into concepts, into ideas, into TEDx talks of 10 minutes or less.
For those few who may not be familiar, TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. TED conferences bring speakers and audiences together for a day of “ideas worth sharing.” TEDx is the community-based version of the big TED events so prevalent on YouTube.
Giving a TEDx talk is hard. You must strip away the fat and muscle so that only the rigid bone of an idea remains. Then you memorize, memorize, memorize.
Our TEDxYouth went through all of that in preparation for a spring speaker event that never came. COVID-19 can stifle even the biggest ideas.
But not forever. On November 6, a socially-distanced watch party will take place at Superior 71 Drive-In east of Spirit Lake. With the artists at F8 Creative behind the camera, the young speakers recorded their talks. Now they will be shown in mega-big screen for all to see, hear and critique.
Tickets are $20 per carload. You can buy them here
I want to give a big shout-out to Brad Jungers of Northwest Bank for leading the organizing team. Also, I should disclose that my daughter and son are speakers and my wife, Carry, is a teacher in the No Boundaries project-based learning program at Okoboji that put TEDxYouth@Okoboji together from first “ahem” to final curtain.
That’s not why I’m sending out this invitation, thought. Instead, I think attendees will be engaged and challenged. I also want our region show these young people that they—and their ideas—are valued.
Remember: Youth is just another word for future leader.