Youth take charge!

Group of young people around the TEDx sign

First ever TEDxYouth Glasgow event inspires Scotland’s young people to discover their full potential in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

Today (Thursday 31 May) saw a sell-out crowd of almost 2,500 gather at Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo to enjoy a range of thought-provoking, motivational speakers at Scotland’s first ever standalone TEDxYouth@Glasgow event.

Developed in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the event inspired young attendees aged 12-26 to step out of their comfort zone, explore new revolutionary ideas and discover their full potential under the ‘Open Mind’ theme.

Over 60 schools and youth organisations attended from across Scotland, from Dumfries & Galloway to Aberdeenshire. 400 pupils from S1-S6 were able to attend through the Glasgow City Council Employment & Skills Partnership Team.

The event also provided a range of collaborative opportunities for young people to play a key role as co-designers in the development and delivery of today’s successful event. At the heart of the event were a number of Glasgow Clyde College students who played a leading role working in partnership with the TEDxGlasgow team to shape the content, develop an engaging programme and implement the wide-ranging activities on offer throughout the day.

Group of young people around the TEDx sign

Ahead of National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), a team of over 100 enthusiastic volunteers who benefited from skills development and on-the-job event management experience were also on hand to ensure the smooth running of today’s event.

Volunteer Co-ordinator on the team, Rebekah Fisher, age 19, said:

“I was very apprehensive about becoming involved with such a huge, high profile project. I have auto immune disease and I have struggled to get work in the past and felt like I might never be able to be a part of a workforce.”

“Since working on the TEDxYouth project, my confidence has grown. I’ve pushed myself to take on additional tasks and working under pressure has made me realise how capable I am. Being part of a team where everyone supports each other has also been fantastic.”

Rebekah’s role required her to recruit 100 volunteers and interview each candidate before assigning roles and responsibilities.

Speakers on the day included Mollie Hughes, the youngest Brit to climb Mount Everest; Reece Hayes, Young Ambassador from the Prince’s Trust; entrepreneur Adam Purvis, co-founder of the Power of Youth; psychologist Dr Diahanne Rhiney who talked about her experience of cyberbullying; Kelly Knox, fashion model and author working to dismiss society’s preconceptions about disability; Natalie Loh, a graphic design student who explored the boundaries between art and science; Chris Andrews, social educator and musician who spoke about the opportunities that exist beyond distractions; student Basit Rashid who inspired people to realise their full potential, and nutritionist and personal trainer, The Food Medic Dr Hazel Wallace.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop said:

“Created in response to Year of Young People, the TedxYouth event is a pioneering new platform for Scotland’s young people. Our nation’s youth are filled with creativity, ideas and talents, and the event has created an opportunity for their entrepreneurial skills to flourish.

“Furthermore, it has demonstrated how young people, given the right tools, can grow their confidence and belief that they have the power to make change happen. I would like to congratulate the Youth Team from Glasgow Clyde College and all the TEDxYouth volunteers for their hard work and dedication on designing such an excellent and unforgettable event.”

In addition to the range of speakers on offer, guests were also treated to a range of innovative and interactive demonstrations across Hall 1 & 2 of the SEC from live classical string quartets synchronised with yoga to exoskeleton robots for rehabilitation, 3D printed organs to DNA origami. A full-size replica of BLOODHOUND SSC (a unique, high-technology project to design and build a car that will break the 1,000mph barrier and set a new world land speed record) was also on display with attendees able try their hand at building an air-powered rocket car using the popular K’nex building sets.

A number of locations across Scotland also hosted their own livestream event on the day including The Mitchell Library Glasgow, the Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Youth Parliament, inspiring those who couldn’t make it along in person on the day.

Joanne Lynn, Head of Events, TEDxGlasgow said:

“Co-designing TEDxYouth@Glasgow alongside an amazing group of talented young people has been an incredible opportunity for us at TEDxGlasgow.

“We always knew we wanted to do something special to help celebrate the Year of Young People and we couldn’t be prouder of how the young team stepped up to the TEDxYouth challenge! It’s important to us that the legacy of this event lives on and we hope the 2000+ young people who joined us will continue to be inspired by both TED and TEDxGlasgow talks in years to come.”

TEDxYouth@Glasgow is part of a nation-wide programme of events and festivals supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. Highlights across the packed programme, which for the first time, is entirely co-designed by young people in collaboration with the events and festivals sector include film, sport, science, books, art and a range of music festivals.