Dare to Dream: Concordia hosts first TEDx Conference

Concordia hosted its first TEDx conference on April 11, 2022, with the theme “Dare to Dream”. 

Featuring 12 speakers - six from Concordia and six guests, from Vinschool, BIS, Hanoi Amsterdam and the Dewey School, presenters ranged from Grade 12 to Grade 5, and each one had something special to share about Daring to Dream. The conference was almost entirely student-led, and while hosting our first TEDx conference would have been a challenge in the best of times, the pandemic era presented an added challenge. 

"The entire process of organizing TEDxConcordia was such an emotional rollercoaster. Everyone was really excited at first, but then online school lasted a lot longer than expected, which kind of reduced our momentum. With Covid restrictions changing on a weekly basis, we also had to be very flexible with our plans. A few weeks before the event, our team was able to regain our sense of camaraderie and worked hard to facilitate the speakers and audience. In general, I think this experience was extremely rewarding. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat," said one of Concordia’s student organizers, Matilda (G12).

“First of all, I would like to accredit the crew behind the scenes for this entire event. I think they worked the hardest and deserve more recognition,” said Karin (G11), one of Concordia’s presenters. I remember being incredibly anxious right before my round, but I was actually quite comfortable on stage as my topic was something I was genuinely interested in. I was more focused on informing the audience about my point. However, right after my talk ended, I had this rush of emotion picking on every little mistake I made as to the perfectionist I am. But that was when I truly realized that not everything is ‘perfect,’ which is ironic considering how my speech was about the harms of perfectionism. Overall, I'm just grateful for this opportunity that made me grow as a person and all the people who helped organize this event. The months of preparation were really worth it,” Karin added.

Andrew (G12), another of Concordia’s student organizers, summed up the process: "’There will always be light at the end of the tunnel but the difference is who has the resilience to walk toward that end.’ When the process started in August, the core team envisioned that the process would go smoothly and on April 9th, we would see a room with 100 people filled with excitement in the Black Box Theater. We were “slightly” wrong. People always say ‘nothing is perfect,’ and that phrase continues to be proven true by us. I would say COVID had been our biggest frenemy, sometimes teasing us with the glimmer of light in the tunnel but other times, it shut it out. At first we were told it would be a live streaming only event, we pictured a room with just the speakers and camera and we were disappointed… even hopeless. But giving up was never our option. With all of our effort, we successfully negotiated with the school to have at least 40 people. 40 is better than none after all. Again, we saw the beam of light sliding through. Just like that, our team walked toward the end of the tunnel. I have learned so much from this experience and it is my hope that TEDxConcordiaIntlSchoolHanoi will be passed on to later generations.” 

Mr. Creek, one of the faculty sponsors, added: “Watching this group of students plan and organize Concordia Hanoi's first TEDx event has been both an honor and a privilege. The ups and downs that go along with putting something like this together during a pandemic have, at times, been severe. However, despite facing challenges, I have seen true dedication and perseverance. This event is proof of what becomes possible when a group of amazing students get together and Dare to Dream!”

Watch a full recording of the TEDx event HERE

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