TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland leaves its mark on Kitsap

Just a few short weeks have gone by since the curtains went down on Kitsap’s very first TEDx event, led not by the adults, but by the youth of our community. As the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art auditorium cleared that afternoon, 90+ people lucky enough to attend in person left feeling inspired, hopeful and full of ideas worth spreading across their schools, workplaces, places of worship, sports teams and more.

TEDx, of course, is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances are shared with the community. They’re events that bring people together, combining video and live speakers to spark deep discussion and connection. 

TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland—with its focus on Youth In Action—was no exception.

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A speaker lineup worth listening to

If you know a thing or two about TED and TEDx events, you know they don’t let just anyone up on stage. An impressive line up of six youth speakers from across area secondary schools made the competitive cut, including Spencer Bispham, Zeya Korytko, Juliette Dashe, Natan Atherton-Schacht, Emilie Scott and Cora Cole.

On the menu of topics for the day? How each of them are transforming Bainbridge Island and the greater Kitsap community, shaping our future on education, business, the arts, social justice and more.

The full line up of talks are now available on the TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland website, including Cora Cole’s Changing the Way We Think About Disagreement, Natan-Atherton Schacht’s The Power of Music, Zeya Korytko’s Why A Global Perspective Matters, and more.


A Time for action

You know the old adage ‘ideas are cheap, execution is everything’? Here at Vibe Coworks, we believe that, big time.

We also believe that great ideas are wasted unless they’re shared.

That’s why were were excited to pitch in to help with the TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland Action Space, a place rich with opportunities to talk about the ideas being shared from stage, digest them together, and expand upon them with our own thoughts, experiences and perspectives during the program breaks.

Not surprisingly, we learned a thing or two in the Action Space that day. Here are 3 of the top takeaways:

If you had unlimited time and resources, what would you take action on?

  1. The environment is top of mind.
    Of all the things that the TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland community would take action on first if time and resources were limitless, it’s the environment.

    TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland attendees were invited to choose an issue area that’s most pressing to them, detailing out what they’d like to take action on before adding their colored paper to the collective ‘X’ sculpture.

    The environmental responses showed a heavy emphasis on both plastics and recycling, and included key questions such as:

    How can we create a way to make recycling easier for people so they don’t have to question ‘is this X item recyclable’?

    How can we eliminate plastics altogether, and make daily decisions that lower our carbon footprint?

    We even had one attendee share that they are determined to “invent a giant carbon sucker to stop climate change”.

  2. When it comes to being uncomfortable, we’re all across the board.
    While very few attendees say that they avoid being uncomfortable at all costs, a handful of lifelong learner souls shared that they’ll do whatever it takes to seek discomfort for themselves. A large number said that they notice right away when someone else is uncomfortable… but not nearly as many as we might have expected or hoped for.

    It’s time to work on our empathy skills, friends!

  3. The art of conversation is far from dead.
    Which is harder: starting conversations with strangers, or speaking your mind, even when it might be uncomfortable?

    The TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland crew took a crack at making both things just a wee bit easier by creating intentional discussion circles, inviting attendees to talk about the things they were hearing and envisioning. And guess what? It worked.

    Thanks to some simple footprints on the floor, rich conversation was heard from wall-to-wall as people (including the fab team from Teen Talking Circles!) dove into their own personal ideas around growing more food, cooking from scratch, mental health, education on political systems, and eco-friendly electro-magnetic hovering cars, just to name a few.

So who’s ready to spread some big ideas?

Before we slipped off our name tags, packed up our super snazzy light up pens, gave a nod of thanks to some stellar event partners and called it a day, we sat and had a listen (and a laugh!) to a truly inspirational recorded TED talk by child prodigy Adora Sitvak:

The world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

So go forth and be ‘childish’. Rewatch and SHARE the day’s TEDxYouth@BainbridgeIsland speaker talks found here. Choose what excites you. Whether it’s personal growth or shifting your perspective—there’s a whole world of ideas waiting for you.