My First Time at TEDx Waterloo
I had an amazing experience earlier this week at my first, of what I hope to be many, TEDx events. I have to admit, I went in as a bit of a skeptic and not expecting that I would get anything out of it. How wrong I was! I was under the impression that TEDx was a “techie” event, a topic that I’m certainly no expert in. As it turned out, there were actually a lot of older men and women in attendance and it wasn’t a “techie” event at all. At the start, I sat down by myself, per instructions not to sit with friends. I was joined by a very enthusiastic young guy; I was afraid that they would all be young guys and girls, hence my reluctance to come. This young man beside me introduced himself as the organizer of TEDxKingston and to top it all off, he was a Queen’s student! As a Queen’s alumnus myself, I immediately took a liking to the fellow and we started up a conversation. I discovered that one of the goals of the day was to start up conversations with strangers and I’m proud to say I dove right in!
This is also my very first blog post and I’ve been told that people lose interest in posts over 300 words long so I’ll be concise. I was impressed by all the speakers, the momentum of the event and the enthusiasm of the audience. I would like to point out that three of the speakers were between the ages of 17 and 23! Each of these young people had a remarkable story to tell and did an excellent job in front of a packed Centre in the Square; it was a first for each of them to be in front of a TEDx audience. One of these speakers, Taylor Jones of Dear Photograph, wasn’t even accepted to go to the event last year! What a difference a year makes! I really enjoyed hearing Mathew Ho, the guy who sent Lego Man up into space, share his experiences. I had never heard of Lego Man, but apparently, it’s a YouTube sensation (and, as it turns out, he’s an aspiring Queen’s student as well). Alicia Raimundo really left an impression on me. She talked about some of her personal struggles and how she has managed to turn a terrible event in her life into an opportunity for open discussion in HOPE- possibly to save a life. She really touched me, as I am blessed with young daughters .
In light of my initial reluctance to attend the event, I find it ironic that the presenters whom I took the most away from were the “young ‘uns”!