Mason Hosts Speakers at TEDx Event

Indranshu Das | Staff Writer

These speakers had only fifteen minutes to communicate the issues they see in the world. No more, no less.

Mason High School’s TEDx Club hosted their second annual TEDx Talk on Thursday, May 31 in the Black Box Theater. TEDx talks are TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talks hosted independently by outside groups. Each of the eight speakers discussed current global issues ranging from climate change to sex trafficking in India within a fifteen minute timeframe.

One of the speakers was Ryan Berg, CEO of the Aruna Project, who aids in freeing sexually exploited women in India and works with interior Chinese communities. His goal was to discuss the purpose of his work and share his ideas with the local Mason community, as well as to encourage future students to give a talk of their own.

“It all starts with the audience I am speaking with,” Berg said. “Given the level of intensity my job entails, I like to break it down in a way which he or she can then take something away and apply it to their lives. I try to be as succinct and clear as possible, but at the same time provide some information that is actionable.”

In terms of having ideas that can be put forth into action, class of 2019 graduate Jagger Vetter talked about his future endeavors as he steps into the next stage of his life.

“My goal in life is to make a better impact on the world and make it a cleaner environment,” Vetter said. “I want to stop the bad things that are happening in our world such as climate change, so I look forward to using my future expertise in environmental engineering to help that.”

He also mentioned how he managed to handle his school life: Varsity cross country, multiple honors/AP classes, and volunteering to conserve the environment.

“All these things I have a deep passion for,” Vetter said. “When you really care about something, such as running, saving the environment, it is not that difficult to juggle multiple tasks so for me I managed to be deeply involved in all three of them.”

Speaker Geoff Thatcher discussed how he believes students are motivated to write for the wrong reasons, along with how he believes that their motivation should not be towards grades but rather for their own benefit.

“Do not write for grades,” Thatcher said, “Write for you. You need to learn how to think, you need to learn how you feel. Writing makes you think.”

Senior Harshi Ambati, a member of the TEDx event, talked about how the club is growing by the year and how more and more speakers, especially high schoolers, are willing to participate.

“We wanted to improve upon last years event, and comparing the two years, we had a bigger turnout this year,” Ambati said. “Our mission is to create a platform for not only highly regarded adults to come and share their wisdom to us, but also for our peers to take initiative and speak on a topic of their interest.”

Click on photos in gallery to enlarge and view in slideshow mode.

Photos by Meghan Dincler.