TEDxYouth: image by Louise Whelan

TEDxYouth 2019 is coming to campus

18 March 2019
Inspiration comes to life with the help of two Sydney Uni alumni
Sydney Uni is partnering with TEDxYouth in 2019, bringing together some of Australia’s most brilliant young minds to share their inspiring ideas and innovations.

Meet Natalie Chandra and Charlotte Spence, two young-gun Sydney Uni alumni working behind the scenes as curators to make the TEDxYouth magic happen.

What did/do you study at Sydney Uni?

Nat: I graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of International and Global studies with Honours in Government and International Relations.

Charlotte: I'm currently in my third year studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications at The University of Sydney, majoring in Marketing and Theatre & Performance Studies. I'm loving it!

How did you become involved in TEDxSydney?

Nat: I went to my first TEDxSydney event in 2013. I loved watching TED talks and I always thought "if I do a TED talk, I'll have made it." I got into the audience, saw that iconic red dot and... it was electric. I soon became much more interested in the process. I kept on going to TEDxSydney events, I met the curators, introducing myself and telling them I wanted to do what they were doing. I was persistent and worked hard until someone asked me if I wanted to be a curator for the TEDxYouth@Sydney in 2016.

Charlotte: After moving over to Sydney from London in 2017, I was lucky enough to be brought on by TEDxSydney as an Artist Liaison for their annual Flagship event, which basically involves looking after the speakers and performers backstage and making sure everyone gets to where they need to be! From there I was able to continue learning about the TEDxSydney world and today in addition to the Artist Liaison role, I am now also a TEDxYouth@Sydney curator for the youth event that TEDxSydney hosts.

So, what is a curator exactly?

Charlotte: Being a curator with TEDxSydney for the TEDxYouth@Sydney event basically involves putting together a lineup of exceptional speakers and performers to put up on our stage. Myself and the curatorial team search for young people (generally under 30 years old) who are doing outstanding things in their industry, and then work with them to craft talks and performances that will have a lasting impact on our audience.

What’s your number one public speaking tip?

Nat: I have two! One – good content. The best speakers I've put on stage are the ones who have really worked on their talks and have gone through lots and lots of drafts. Editing and refining is so important. Two – deep breaths right before you go on stage. Nerves are good! Just make sure you have some semblance of control

Charlotte: Walking out in front of an audience the size of ours is always going to be scary, that goes without saying, but I think that's also what makes it so thrilling. When speakers are nervous I often tell them to think of the audience as friends. That's the beauty of a TEDxSydney audience; everyone is there because they want to share new ideas together and engage in this collaborative learning experience, and I think that makes it seem a little less daunting.

Tell us about TEDxYouth@Sydney. What should students be excited for?

Charlotte: TEDxYouth@Sydney is taking place on Thursday 4 April 2019 at the Seymour Centre and is definitely something to get excited about! The theme is CUSP. We've just finalised an amazing, diverse lineup of speakers and performers, from gamers to climate activists and everything in-between. It's honestly mind-blowing to think about how many talented young people there are in this city and I can't wait to showcase that!

Nat: Ok, straight up, not to brag (but let me brag) TEDxYouth is always world class. As someone who has seen some of the best TED talks live, I'm not exaggerating when I say our event is one of the best TEDx’s you can go to. Our line up is probably the youngest and most impressive TEDxYouth has had, ever. We have some really fantastic performances and it's going to be an... invigorating day. Think like, aerobics, but for your brain and more fun. Tickets are on sale now, you should come.

Finally, what are you on the CUSP of achieving?

Nat: Challenging myself, I'm writing a collection of essays on uncomfortable topics, teaching myself accounting and trying to critically engage with the Artificial Intelligence dialogue. But the cheesy (and truthful) achievement that's really on the cusp, is a great TEDxYouth event.

Charlotte: Right now we're on the cusp of achieving a sold-out TEDxYouth@Sydney! But jokes aside I couldn't be happier with where I'm at at the moment; being involved with TEDxSydney alongside my studies allows me to put theory into a practical context so vividly, so honestly I hope this is just the beginning of it all for me.

To find out more and to purchase your seats, visit the TEDxSydney website now. You can even enter the competition to win two free tickets.

Image by Louise Whelan

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