Article by Bowie Gray-Savitt and Ava Bialow
This spring, Beaver will be hosting their third annual TedX event with the theme “Reinventing the Wheel”. To obtain further insight on the planning process and to better get to know this year’s TedX team, we met with and interviewed the team of five. This year’s team consists of: Max Schreiber ‘22, Kely Archambault ‘22, Anna Levine ‘22, Lexi Landes ‘22, Maddy Sclar ‘22, and faculty advisor Mr. Muschamp. This is Max’s second year on the team, whereas the other members joined for the first time this year. While the Beaver TedX team works together collaboratively, they also have individual roles within the team. Lexi is the marketing manager and controls the website, Instagram, and any other media. Kely manages communications and focuses mainly on informing the school on any news on the event by sending out emails or reaching out to students and faculty. Maddy focuses on the logistical side of things, working with numbers, the budget, and getting specific dates down; she handles all things operational. Concentrating on working directly with the speakers, Anna will meet with each participant and work with them to nail down their talks, build their confidence, and finalize their talks as the event date approaches. Finally, Max, being the executive manager, leads the meetings and organizes most of the planning process. The team explained to us how running the Beaver TedX event is collectively their SDP for the winter and that although they all have their own positions, it is a team effort overall.
As mentioned previously, this year’s topic is “Reinventing the Wheel”. When asked to further explain the topic, what it means to them, and why they chose it, Anna Levine described how the idea came to be: “There were a bunch of ideas circulating, but that idea sort of encapsulates how we are in this weird crossroad as a society; everything always seems to be changing. This seems to be a really important time where change needs to be made and we are seeing that within our school but also our national government. I think a lot of stuff is going on and we need to take a step back and approach where we have historically been kind of running things.” In terms of why they decided to choose this theme, Kely added, “It gives a lot of room for people who want to give talks. At first glance, it can seem kind of fitting with one idea or one ‘formula’ for a talk. You can find anything that you want to just talk about and show how you want it to maybe change in the future. It leaves a lot of room open for a lot of interesting talks so I think we left it with a lot of freedom.” After generating multiple different names for the topic, Max described the moment the team first heard of the theme “Reinventing the Wheel”. He reflected, “We were all kind of in agreement when we heard it, we knew it was the one we wanted.”
Currently, the team is in the process of gathering different students, staff, alumni, and people from outside communities to form a group that will come together to make the event as best as possible. Kely Archambault mentioned the schoolwide emails that have been sent out in search of speakers. As of now, the team is primarily focused on bringing in presenters, looking to collect an ideal number of six in total. Max explained, “We are getting all the early stuff out of the way so we can spend more time meeting with the speakers to develop their talks”. Additionally, other logistical factors such as specific dates as well as the budget are in the course of being finalized and approved.
As the group of six is still in the initial stages of organizing the event, they shared some insight on the most significant challenges they’ve been facing so far within the planning process. While they mentioned some difficult factors such as the pandemic and dealing with unresponsive outside companies, the team decided collectively that the most substantial obstacle was confronting the process of getting ideas and decisions approved. Lexi Landes details the process: “We have to go through Beaver, so it’s a lot of coming up with ideas, sharing it with other people, waiting to get it approved, and afterward asking other people and having to get it approved by them.” The group has been juggling the various perspectives and opinions of other people as well as incorporating all feedback and modifications into the planning of the event.
Furthermore, the team is extremely excited and eagerly anticipating the Tedx Event. When asked to further describe what each of them is especially looking forward to, Max, Maddy, and Anna expressed excitement for a range of aspects of the upcoming event. Max contributed how he is excited for this year’s event because it will be much different than last year’s expecting. He said, “Last year we were virtual because of Covid, so if all goes according to plan, I’m excited to hopefully be back in the Black Box doing a live event with a live audience. I think it’s going to be really nice after kind of having to do it at home last year.” Maddy added, “Seeing how after all we are doing now will soon go into an event is very exciting. I am also excited to just hear the talks that people are creating while working with my peers.” Anna agreed with Maddy and further emphasized, “We spend a lot of time in this room, and right now, looking at our to-do list, it feels like a lot is going on and that it doesn’t seem very concrete. I know that very soon it is all going to come together really well.”
Beaver’s TedX Team is working incredibly hard to make the event ideal and we are super excited to see how the process progresses. We greatly encourage you to reach out to the team if you are interested in speaking at the event or have any additional questions; they are a friendly, welcoming, and fun group and they would love to hear from anybody thinking about getting involved!