Deerfield’s First TEDx Talks

TEDex1000As Riley Ennis spoke at Convocation a few years ago about his discovery in high school of what might turn out to be a cure for cancer, Peter Warsaw wondered whether Deerfield might then—or at some point in the future—have a student who while here significantly added to the world’s knowledge. The idea of students as creators was not radical: Apple Inc. had been urging students to “engage, create, and distribute” (on a global scale); Web 2.0 had long been defined by students as creators, not just consumers, of knowledge. But the question was what might spark student interest in testing themselves on a bigger stage with a wider reach. The answer was TEDx Talks at Deerfield, a vehicle that would wait for student leaders and visionaries like Nahla Gedeon-Achi, Haidun Liu, and Megan Retana. Thanks to their tireless efforts, TEDx Talks at Deerfield became a reality on February 22nd.

It took a year and a half of hard work, developing procedures and protocols, meeting TED’s myriad requirements for becoming a first-time host, and engaging the community in selecting a topic of universal interest and relevance: Time. The Deerfield TEDx team reviewed two rounds of applications from twenty community members, eventually deciding on seven students and three faculty presenters, chosen for their prior speaking experience, creativity, treatment of their topic, and balance and breadth of presentations. Three rounds of presentation vetting later, the speakers were prepared to offer the community a celebration of ideas and intellect.

Deerfield will be releasing the first Tedx Talk for students to see this week in School Meeting. Subsequent speakers’ presentations will be released during the spring for students and will be available for parents to see on the Deerfield website later this spring.  Stay tuned as Deerfield has plans in the works for another Ted X talk next winter. There will also be a full write up on the Tedx Talks in the summer 2015 issue of Deerfield Magazine.

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