Inspiring speeches, performances and eye-opening talks are what TED events are all about. By now, the whole world knows about TED talks. Coming to the island next month is a youth event put together by six high-school students. TEDxYouth@Engomi will present a day of thinking, questioning and reflecting.

As all tickets sold out within a day, the six students launched ‘TEDx In Your Living Room’, Livestream tickets to allow more people to take part. So, on March 14, physical ticket holders will attend the Russian Culture Centre and with online spectators via Eventbrite will be invited to ‘Think Deep’.

Lead organiser 17-year-old Tanay Tandon’s TEDx journey began back in November 2019 when volunteering for TEDxUNIC. “In a crowd of over 1,000,” he told Cyprus Mail, “I saw very few young people; and with that, I realised the youth was simply not capitalising on the plethora of opportunities they had to expand their horizons… When the virus rolled around, I took the time of crisis as a sign for catapulting myself into action and got the ball moving in making the first TEDx Youth event of Cyprus a reality.”

Although another TEDxYouth event already took place in Limassol this February, March 14’s event will be on a much bigger scale and with a full agenda. An adult organiser is required for an TED event, so acquaintance Nicholas Nicoli, organizer of TEDxUNIC, stepped in. Once the TEDx Youth license was received, Tanay and the rest of the team – students of the Falcon School and the Senior School – each took on a role: 16-year-old Maria Efthymiadou is Head of Event Management, Evie Bridger, 17, is Head of Design, Sebastian Nikita, 18, is Head of People, Anfisa Karneeva, also 18, is Head of Finance and 17-year-old Stella Nicolaou is Head of Marketing.

So why ‘Think Deep’? The theme came together when Tanay was completing the application form: “When asked in the application ‘What is your goal in hosting a TEDx event?’, one clear answer came to mind: Replacing superficiality with depth in the Cypriot youth’s minds. With our goal clear from the very start, we were able to stimulate the minds of our peers to look beyond facts, to question their reality and to dare to dream. We want to kindle the fire in every single audience member’s mind in some way or the other. And while ‘Think Deep’ will have a different meaning to every individual, we know it will ultimately unite us all in our journey of becoming more thoughtful thinkers.”

The eight selected speakers will dive into the topic of digging and thinking deeply, each in their own way. Some are Harvard and Oxford graduates, others are CEOs from the UK and Cypriot high school students. Genetic engineering, social entrepreneurship, and even how to actually find the meaning of life will be some of the topics discussed.

Putting together the full-day event (10am-4 pm), under the massive umbrella that is TED worldwide has inspired the high-school students. “In one word,” smiled Tanay about this experience, “it’s been revolutionary. Not in the sense that a TEDx Youth event has never been held before, but in the sense that we are bringing this event to Cyprus for the first time. In our own small way, we are leaving a footprint on our community. And that’s pretty awesome.”

Think Deep

TEDxYouth event organised by high-school students and Nicholas Nicoli. March 14. Russian Cultural Centre, Nicosia. And through livestream via Eventbrite. 10am-4pm. €10.