If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent many late nights binge-watching TED Talks on YouTube. They’re fascinating, informative, funny, and deeply thought-provoking–the only thing TED videos truly lack is a forum for discussion, some way to further your understanding of the messages and connect to them more personally. You can imagine my excitement when I learned about TEDx Salons.
TEDx Salons are community-organized events that feature live speakers as well as TED videos with a common focus and facilitate discussion afterwards. From the TED website: “It’s a unique kind of gathering that… allows the conversation to continue, in person.”
That is exactly what I experienced when I attended a TEDx Salon last year at my high school, hosted by the SPHS Mediators. The event brought together students, parents, teachers, and total strangers from all across the South Pasadena community and far beyond. We listened to great TED Talks, including three in-person speakers. Through small group discussion, we made connections to the content, shared our thoughts and life experiences, and contemplated the deeper meaning behind the talks. Paired with a cozy environment in the school library and yummy snacks, it was exactly the event I had been looking for–just as intellectually stimulating as watching TED videos all night, completely enhanced by discussion time with a diverse group of people.
The SPHS Mediators are hosting a second TEDx Salon on Saturday, December 9th, and I am very excited to attend another wonderful event. It is called “Connection and Communication” and will feature in-person speakers Ben Elbaum, Amanda Estevez, and Archer Willems as well as two videos relating to this theme.