Pearson College UWC’s student-organized and led TEDx event, “We and the World,” was a resounding success on 14 January 2017, bringing together hundreds of people from across the community and around the world to showcase eight inspiring speakers from both the Greater Victoria and College communities.
“The audience in the Max Bell auditorium really was on the edge of their seats,” said lead student organizer Stefan Petrevski. “They were excited to hear talks on everything from AIDS to ‘lemonade making,’ and to exchange ideas and to network with people from more than 70 countries and every province and territory of Canada.”
Petrevski, a second-year student originally from Macedonia, worked with a dedicated team of his peers to organize the second-ever TEDx youth event at Pearson. In addition to more than 100 people in the auditorium, over 600 people joined the event virtually, some from down the road in rural Metchosin and others from as far away as Tanzania and Poland.
From the beginning, Pearson students wanted to make this a community event by inviting young leaders from schools across Greater Victoria to present and attend. For example, Ann-Berenice Thomas, Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate, spoke of the “Oreo complex,” racism, and reminded us all that we are whirlwinds whose identities cannot be boiled down to a food item.
MJ Milloy, a Pearson alum and researcher at the BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, spoke of the steps to eradicate the disease both worldwide and in B.C. Yousra Alfarra, a current Pearson student from Gaza, Palestine, spoke of making lemonade out of the lemons that life throws—whether those “lemons” be wars, political sanctions, family struggles or any other adversity.
“Between the laughter and the emails and texts exchanged over the breaks, between the mind-opening talks and the engaging conversations that followed, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve achieved everything that we hoped for and more,” added Petrevski.
“Our two primary aims, to connect with ambitious students from the region and to stimulate everyone in the room and online to consider small-scale ideas and extrapolate them to greater causes, were certainly met.”
Stay tuned to the College’s social media channels in the coming weeks to watch the recorded talks, and prepare to be inspired!