Student insights from TEDxSydney Youth event

"The world is waiting to be redefined by the most connected, creative and technically literate generation yet."

Six IGS students attended the TEDxSydney Youth event in Parramatta on Wednesday 24 May. TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) events are hosted as a series of presentations, talks and performances covering a wide variety of topics that are meant to spread ideas and curiosity. The theme of TEDxSydney Youth’s event was Future Creators, and sought to bring together young people to talk about how they will to reshape, rewire, inhabit and reimagine our world.

Three students reflected on the day and shared their thoughts with us:

“The TEDxSydney Youth program was an intriguing and exciting day where I had the opportunity to listen to young Australians talk about their passions and concerns in regards to the future. The day was focused around the topic of Future Creators, and we learned current and ongoing social issues.

“The speaker I enjoyed listening to the most was 19 year old Anjali Sharma, well known for her climate activism and for being the head litigator in the Sharma v Environment Minister case. She talked about growing up, confined in a box put around her, and how she was allowed to express her opinions on climate change to a certain degree, but if she actually tried to do anything – make any change – she was met with disapproval. Anjali spoke about breaking free of this ‘box’, when at 16, she took the Australian Federal Government and Minister for the Environment to the Federal court in a class action. She fought for her, and all other young Australians, duty of care, and their future with the effects of climate change.

“I particularly enjoyed hearing Anjali speak because she spoke with such passion about what she believed in, and her bravery in creating change for what she believed in.”

– Lilla Smyth Langdon (Year 10)


“The TEDxYouth show, themed Future Creators was an extremely interesting and fun experience where I learned a lot about numerous issues that are critical to young Australians and young people across the world, and how we can make a change. As well as learning about new creations that have been developed to aid a huge range of people in various ways, and ultimately make a change in the world and its future.

“However, a quote that really stuck with me was from Nawal Sari, a fashion and beauty creator who is heavily influenced and inspired by her Muslim faith. In regards to the beliefs of her Muslim faith she said that humans should “live lightly, only take what you need and be on Earth as a traveller”. Although her talk was primarily about fashion, I found that this particular quote embodied my beliefs regarding sustainability and the ways we should be treating the Earth. I think this quote can both change the world as well as my own life, as when it is compared to the way modern society lives, it emphasises the importance of seeing the Earth as a fellow being rather than something to use. Which was also brought up by Taylah Gray, a First Nations Wiradjuri woman and successful lawyer, in her talk about Native Title and the many struggles undergone by Australian First Nations people for Indigenous land rights.

“It was extremely inspiring to see the many young people who talked at the show who are making a huge difference in the world regarding a number of problems, and it has inspired me to think of the ways I can change my everyday life to evoke change of my own and continue to share the change with others.”

– Maya Isbister (Year 10)


“The most valuable thing I took from the TEDx Sydney experience was the inspiration to create my own opportunities. Although the speaker Dan Brockwell spoke about his organisation, and most importantly its role in finding and equipping young people with jobs in the tech industry, the idea of creating one’s own opportunities when finding a job translated well into my own life. It struck a tone within me as I believe the creation of your own opportunities is integral to experiencing, enjoying and getting the most of life, not just ‘reacting’ or waiting for things, but taking initiative.”

– Zach Somerton (Year 12)