A Youthquake erupts at TEDxTeen 16 October 2014

“There is no-one more curious, no greater disruptor, than a teen on a mission. They prod, poke and dissect their worlds around them until they are confronted with answers - or mysteries - that capture their imaginations. Nothing else will do..” TEDxTeen

Last weekend at the O2, London, 18 talks and seminars were given at TEDxTeen; TED’s younger, loudmouth, technology addicted little brother. Over one day a cohort of teen innovators took to the stage to tell how they have pushed boundaries and exceeded expectations on a global level.  Who said teenagers were lazy?

Any preconceived notions of bedroom-bound adolescents were quickly eradicated, as each speaker quickly wowed the audience with a CVs worth of achievements that any CEO would be proud of.  

The theme of the day was ‘Remarkable Disruptors’, a new generation of talented teens who are outspoken, assertive and are anything but passive. Turning over established norms and prehistoric thinking; they are the crowdsourcing, app developing youngsters that are setting the precedent for the future.  

Co hosted by Chic musician Nile Rogers, TEDxTeen’s inaugural 2014 event celebrates young trailblaizers who interrogate the world around them and demand answers. A curated lineup of teen pioneers who are eradicating old norms and evolving youth culture thorough challenging and diverse projects.

"We started this programme a few years ago in America and it’s become so successful. Every year we have to turn away about 3000 people and that’s a shame because we wish we could have a big venue so that's why we brought it to London."

Nile added: "People don’t realise that because it’s called TEDxTeen, they think that it’s just for teenagers, well no that’s not how it works.” 

"Teens are usually the speakers but the audience are adults and the adults are always blown away because we curate these events." 

While most haven’t entered the workplace yet, this generation of entrepreneurs are well on their way to professional success with extracurricular projects gaining exponential momentum.

From eco activists to music protégés, all of the speakers helped echo the day’s sentiment: “if you’re good enough you’re old enough”. Being the first generation that is younger than the Internet, many of the speakers echoed the importance of technology and how it facilitates change, innovation and equality.

The TED event did a fantastic job at captivating the young audience with inspiring presentations that felt educational, but highly engaging: two words that don’t always go together. The young speakers on TED are a testament to the notion that a good idea can prosper, whatever your age.

 

Kieran Haddock, Team Assistant

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