Highlights from TEDxJIS 2019: Solve for X

“It is very interesting to hear others’ opinions. Beyond my expectations. I didn’t expect that I would enjoy it when I bought the ticket.” 

This eye-catching comment, from a post-event survey conducted by TED, was made by a TEDxJIS 2019 attendee. With the theme of Solve for X, the annual conference drew the largest number of participants since TEDxJIS was established five years ago.

The speakers and performers included two Middle School students for the first time, as well as a High School magician who truly puzzled the crowd.

TEDxJIS founding advisor Beata Mirecka-Jakubowska was also a speaker. In her talk, “From Fat Knees to Swift Wings,” she shared the most valuable lessons she has learned as a student as well as a teacher. She has taught at JIS for more than 30 years.

As another attendee wrote in the survey: “We got to learn insights from speakers who shared their knowledge from firsthand experience.”

“It was great to see the students, especially, and teachers expand the frontiers of our thinking through their insightful sharing!” wrote another appreciative attendee. “Worth investing a Saturday morning!”

A loyal fan agreed: “It was an excellent presentation of performances and ideas from talented, articulate students and teachers. I have been attending TEDxJIS for five years, and I am always impressed and inspired by the messages.”

One message we thought worth spreading was the importance of asking questions in order to find solutions. So during registration we asked attendees, “What puzzles you?” and put their answers on cards along the walkway between the Melati Theater and the PIE cafeteria. While attendees mingled over refreshments, they could visit a showcase of High School student projects that “solve for x” in the context of global issues. These included Bye Bye Plastic Bags, which has given presentations at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, and GIN, which gave away notebooks made of used paper at the conference.

The responses to the post-event survey are very encouraging. One respondent said it all: “The whole conference was well thought out, focusing on the idea of solving puzzles and problems. Gathering information about the attendees during registration (the ‘what puzzles me’ used during audience engagement) was clever, as was the use of recycled paper for badges and notebooks. The sequence of talks allowed for a good variety, with serious talks being followed by lighter ones [and] music and dance added some variety as well. The hosts allowed time for attendees to interact, chat and stretch during the sessions. The organization was seamless.”

We are glad to have exceeded expectations with our fifth annual conference. One final event is being planned this year, TEDxJISLive in April. We hope to see you there!

Featured image: Attendees learned to sing “Happy Birthday” during John Davey-Hatcher’s talk. (Photo by Murwanto Atmadji)
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