Exclusive Interviews with Beaver TEDx Exec Team

By Lexi Landes and Rory Collins

The second annual TEDx Beaver event is being held this Saturday, April 24th. This year’s theme is Hope for Tomorrow, which intends to generate both optimism and action within the community as we begin to enter post-pandemic life. TedXBeaverCountryDaySchool hosts compelling and powerful speakers who attempt to challenge both previous thoughts and actions. 

This theme was specifically chosen for speakers to have the freedom to take their vague idea and twisted it into their own talk and make it work for them. We asked the executive board about the choosing of this theme and how it came to be, and they responded, “We had a massive brainstorming session! Underneath the three executive organizers, Eliana Verdi + Max Schreiber + Abigail Burgess, we have a team of 8 or so ambassadors who help us with little tasks such as ways to market and attending speaker meeting sessions. In December, we met with the team of ambassadors and threw out overarching themes. Ideas that came up a lot were: change, voice, and hope. We felt as though hope was very timely and relevant!”

There will be six speakers at this year’s event, and the executive team also spoke to us more on why these specific talks were chosen: “Our complete list of speakers is as follows: Jana Amin, Chris Avila, Yolanda Wilcox González, Max Thomson, Kyla Sheedy-Goff, and Dr. Jennifer Kaplan. Max Thomson and Kyla Sheedy-Goff are students here at Beaver! (You don’t want to miss their talks!) These speakers range from Beaver students, parents, teachers, to outside community members. We hosted a long application process where we reviewed the ideas of many qualified speakers. We ended up narrowing down our list based on the quality of the content and its correlation to our theme: Hope For Tomorrow. Additionally, we had to make sure all of the talks complimented each other while also not being redundant”

The ideas presented during this event will highlight ideas including but not limited to: voice, change, creativity, growth, reflection, movement, and hope. With last year’s event being cancelled due to COVID, this spring’s event has been being planned and coordinated to top all expectations.

The event will be held virtually from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm EDT. Tickets are available on the TEDx website: tedxbeaver.com. The organizers of this year’s event are Abigail Burgess, Eliana Verdi, and Max Schrieber. 

When asked about how long the TEDx team had been preparing for this event, Abigail Burgess shared that it has taken, “A long, long time!! Technically, since the fall. The process is long and tedious, including recruiting speakers, selecting speakers, coaching the speakers, marketing the event using social media and other tools, building our website, and much more. We selected our speakers in February and have been coaching them since. This year, since the event is virtual, we professionally pre-recorded the talks at Red Sky Studios, a studio space in Allston, MA. We hired Davideo Company for audio/visual components”

Last year’s event revolved around the theme: An Essence of an Idea. There were seven fantastic speakers who captured the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and hopefully the world. Abigail also shared that last year, “As a TEDx event, in-person events must be capped at 100 attendees. Virtual events have no attendee limit. So last year, we had around 100 attendees. This year, we have 200+ RSVPs!!”

Obviously this year will be extremely different from last year, not only because of the online bit but also because, as stated by Abigail Burgess, “Every year is a completely new experience in process with selecting a new theme, new team member and, of course, new speakers. Each speaker brings such energy, enthusiasm, and passion about their respective ideas to each meeting; it’s so refreshing! Additionally, Max Schreiber (junior) joined the executive organizing committee this year in place of Jules Holland. Max has been FANTASTIC! So punctual, personable, and works so well with Eliana and me. We’re such a tight trio and have grown so close over the past couple of months. Additionally, we had a new faculty advisor: Ms. Goldstein! Truly, we would not have been able to do this without her help. She kept us so organized and inspired throughout the entire process. She was truly the backbone of our team. Also, the ability to utilize Zoom and meet on the fly was something that we weren’t able to do last year and that was super helpful! So, this definitely shifted the dynamic of teamwork from our previous event, but it exponentially benefitted us!”

Overall, the executive team is extremely excited for this event and just hope “People walk away from this year’s event feeling inspired and ready to take on a post-pandemic future.”

Go to tedxbeaver.com to RSVP for the event.

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