November 20 is Universal Children’s Day and for this reason, a few years ago the TED community launched TEDxYouth weekend, a series of simultaneous events around the world where youths are given a voice of their own. These events, which anyone can organize, are meant to empower and inspire other young people (as well as adults) who enjoy this special event every year. If you have been to any of these events, you will know the level of energy and inspiration that those who attend have after watching these mind-blowing talks.
These types of events help not only to radically change the pessimistic perception that some have about the so-called Generation Y or Millennials, but also to boost energy in the rest of generations thanks to these inspiring talks and gatherings.
Many cities around the world have joined this movement and we have been able to learn from young people, like Canadian comedian and mental health activist Kevin Breel, who spoke about the stigma of depression in his inspiring talk at TEDxKids@Ambleside. “Depression is the roommate you can’t kick out”, he has said, and “depression puts me in the dark only to remind me that there is light,” among many other powerful statements.
Other inspiring talks feature:
Michael Chichioco: motivated by US Men’s National Team (soccer) goalie Tim Howard and how his OCD and Tourette’s syndrome brought unique skills to his game: “There is always a flip side in every challenge we face”. Michael encourages us to find the flip side.
Lizzie Velasquez: “Don’t let anyone define who you are as a person.” She chose to be happy.
Katherine Pan: on the “the archer’s paradox”: “Only when everything is in tune can you hit the bullseye on the target.”
And these are just a few examples… (for more inspiring examples in Spanish click here)
Ashoka is another organization that has spent years building the future social entrepreneurs. Schools and boys and girls who become change agents (changemakers), where focus is given to promoting empathy and where children are inspired to create projects that leave this world better than we found it…
It is all about giving a voice to children, whether they go on stage or not, wherever they are.
And in case you thought this was only about children, I always say that youth is a state of mind, so let’s share these initiatives and enjoy them with our relatives and friends so we can all keep our young attitude as long as possible, that no one can take away from us.
Have a great rest of the week,