TEDxYouth@WonderlandRd eager to engage London's youth

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
TEDxYouth@WonderlandRd, run by first-year and second-year Western University students, will be held at von Kuster Hall in the Don Wright Faculty of Music Building at Western on Oct. 26.

A TEDx event organized by Western University students is looking forward to sharing stories of inspiration to youth in the Forest City.

TEDxYouth@WonderlandRd is an independently organized TED event that features eight guest speakers sharing their unique narrative. Speakers Eli Smith, Darren Kendal, Asher Smith, and Deidre Sirianni, along with PickWaste co-founder Sam Demma, psychologist Karen Cassiday, artist Shinjini Sur, and hypnotist, mentalist and illusionist Savio Joseph, will present.

The TEDxYouth@WonderlandRd website provided a background of TED Talks. The upcoming event is one of the many events to come out of TED, a non-profit organization dedicated to shareable ideas. An event is listed with the letter “x” in the event name means it’s a local event that’s independently organized by those running it.

Quillan O’Neill, the lead organizer for TEDxYouth@WonderlandRd and a second-year bachelor of management and organizational studies (BMOS) student, spoke on behalf of the event’s team in an email interview with Interrobang. He said that the event’s volunteers are all first-year and second-year Western students. He said the social media marketing, stage designing, presenting, coaching, and videography opportunities provides the students with hands-on learning.

“Throughout the year, we have been able to develop ourselves personally and academically due to the wonderful opportunity TEDx has to offer,” O’Neill said. “We wanted the event to be held in London so all the students in our community could be afforded the same opportunity.”

He also said that since the TEDx events get their name from a local landmark in their host city, they picked Wonderland Road since it’s one of London’s major roads. They added youth in the name as a way to showcase who is the event’s focus.

“As an event run by youth, presented by youth, and received by youth, we wanted to make our identity clear in our name.”

Fanshawe College is one of the main sponsorship partners, along with Cornerstone Architecture. O’Neill added the College sponsored $2,000 for the event. He said the College provides a great energy.

“Fanshawe and its staff have a contagious excitement that has pushed our team to the next level. We love the enthusiasm with which Fanshawe contributes to our TEDx,” he said. “The staff at Fanshawe willingly provide invaluable resources in ways that truly impact our community. TEDxYouth@ WonderlandRd will demonstrate the spirit of Fanshawe through our incredible speakers, wonderful volunteers, and talented leaders.”

O’Neill added that the theme for the event is “The Architect,” but as TEDx events delicately connect the diverse speakers, it’s up to the attendees to determine why that’s the theme.

TEDx Youth@WonderlandRd will be on Oct. 26 at von Kuster Hall at Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets on Eventbrite are listed at $20.

Visit tedxyouthwonderlandrd.com for more information about the event and to purchase tickets.