Soweto to host historic TEDx youth event

Some of South Africa’s “most talented and visionary young thinkers and
activists” will converge for the TEDxYouth@Soweto event as part of the globally-arranged TEDxYouthDay.

It’s the third event to be hosted by TEDxSoweto. The event, not actually taking place in Soweto but at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, has been organised by a group of passionate Sowetans who say they want to inspire and “spread ideas” amongst the country’s youth.

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Kelo Kubu, the convenor of the event, says the next TEDxSoweto is scheduled for April 2011 and will for the first time take place in the historic Soweto setting of Kliptown with a technology slant and the theme “The future is inevitable”.

“I was fortunate enough in 2007 to attend a TED talk in Tanzania, and then in 2008 I attended another TED event in California. After attending the TED talks I felt really inspired about doing one here. I felt it would benefit a lot of people, and I was inspired to take this on as a project,” says Kubu.

TEDx is an offshoot of the famous TED Talks — a programme of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. There have been various local TEDx talks, including events held in Johannesburg and Stellenbosch.

Kubu says the speakers at TEDxYouth@Soweto will include some of South Africa’s most inspired thinkers and doers between the ages of 16 and 21, including radio and TV personality Precious Kofi, One Young World Ambassador Catherine Peter, Gaming Social Innovator Reid Falconer, the Music Producer duo Don Juan Khabana and Ross Ranby, and the Melodi Music Ensemble.

Presenters will share their visions on topics such as education, work, money and the planet. The speakers and audience members will engage with the theme: “We, The Future” — and the challenge is to examine the future we are creating, and our places in it.

TedXSoweto will seek answers to questions like “What kind of world are we creating? Are we building the future we want to see? Sixteen years after the birth of democracy in South Africa, can today’s youth fulfill their full human potential?”

TEDxYouth is a global phenomenon. While young people of Soweto consider these questions, more than 50 other TEDx communities around the world will also ask young people to share their visions of the future.

“We want to spread ideas. And we are hoping that the projects presented at the conference will grow. The age 16-21 is critical in determining a career path, so we are hoping to inspire,” says Kubu, “The response has been good. For this one we are hoping for 100 delegates.”

“This is about making new connections and inspiring each other to action. Every participant in the event brings their own unique perspective: from the speaker on stage to audience members,” says Kubu.

TED is a non-profit bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Annual Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences began 30 years ago in California as havens where elite thinkers got together to explore life from challenging or unusual perspectives.

Renowned scientists, political leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and musicians have taken to the stage at the technology-focused gatherings where ‘curator’ Chris Anderson urges speakers to give the “talk of their lives” in 18 minutes.

Those wishing to attend the TEDxYouth@Soweto event, on the 20th of November, may request an invitation at their official site.

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