Masud Tyree Lewis, student, Dover Campus, and TEDxUWCSEADover Executive Producer and Director of Operations
On 2 February 2018, High School students at UWCSEA Dover treated the community to an evening ‘beyond’. An official TEDx event like no other, TEDxUWCSEADover was crafted to show that while UWCSEA's ambitious community members tend to go far, we can still go further and even, beyond.
The event’s sigil, the bird, was selected to illustrate a simple concept: birds, from a very young age, spread their wings and fly, usually, far away from their home. The organisers challenged their audience to think like migratory birds: go beyond and go far in order to grow. “There is nothing more beautiful than a determined bird exploring a new patch of land or a new belt of sky” were the sentiments of the event’s leading team.
But the organisers did not challenge their excited audience by calling them birds, rather, they invited them on journeys into the stories of their five speakers; into what they would call 'journeys beyond'. Julia Schetelig and Warren Su, students at UWCSEA East and Dover, respectively, were amongst the evening’s lineup. The organisers felt it was essential to challenge their predominantly student audience by having their classmates on stage, a choice that not only moved fellow students but also seasoned adults. While Schetelig explored the concept of giving a voice to the voiceless rather than becoming their voice, a concept many of us as changemakers tend to forget, Su dissected the faults of faults of his leadership through a beautiful metaphor, a satellite. Together, the two wove stories that appealed to the hearts and minds of the audience and their classmates in particular.
Not neglecting their adult audience, the organisers curated talks from UWCSEA Dover teacher and UWC Atlantic alumna, Anisha Wilmink, architect and artist, Christian Waldvogel and urban marine biologist, Eliza Heery. Wilmink evaluated our role as members of the UWC community and simplifies our mission into a simple command: “Find a way to be useful and be good at it.” Waldvogel and Heery sought to share their knowledge about the beauty of our magnificent planet and succeeded gracefully. While Heery took the audience with her on the journey beyond the water’s edge and into the urban seascape where fascinating creatures thrive - on waste, Waldvogel beckoned the audience to think philosophically and artistically about the shape, and the centre of the universe: us.
The five talks were complemented by two pre-recorded TEDx talks and a musical performance by UWCSEA Dover’s student band, Take One. To commemorate the spectacular evening, audience members were also offered complimentary TEDxUWCSEADover merchandise.
It was, for many, an evening well spent and a journey worth taking. The team wishes to thank everyone for their support, the event would not have been the same without you.
If you were there, thank you for going BEYOND. If you were not, we bid you, never be afraid to go beyond what is normal; to challenge your everyday routine; to explore the dark and mysterious; go beyond!