TEDxYouthCroydon Speakers 2014

Last Saturday was the 2nd annual TEDxYouth@Croydon event. 12 amazing speakers took to the red floors of the darkened auditorium of prestigious Brit School, who were the amazing partners for the second year running.  DV8's apprentices were part of the production team filming the event and they did a fantastic job.

The event had Fab-U-Lous activities, keeping attendees interested, entertained and informed. The Science Museum came with their cool (pun intended) experiments, origami folding facilitated by ITs’QA who championed world peace. 9:10 Publishing shared their latest book Letters From A Future Generation and Speakerstrust gave away 3 public speaking workshop places in a prize draw, attendees interacted amongst each other and the speakers, while others danced to the DJ music by Rubix Radio, whilst watching Graffiti Life create art before their eyes.


The event was hosted by last year’s speakers, trio Joivan, Percelle and Dee Kartier, JPD3 of the YouTube hit series, Mandem On The Wall. TEDxYouth@Croydon also had an unexpected host, Ted himself, crashed the event and kept everyone entertained.

The packed day was graced with entertainment, laughter and even moments where emotions ran high, such as during Aina More’s emotional spoken word performance about Make It Matter – bringing up the issues of the Ferguson shooting and #BringBackOurGirls.

This year’s speakers have ranged from campaigners, to entrepreneurs to spoken word artists.

The event was opened by curator Elaine Powell, discussing the aims and objectives of TEDxYouth@Croydon. A Twitter competition was also announced for the best tweets about the event using #TYCImagine as hashtag. Check out the comments on twitter.


The first speaker to take the stage was Monalisa Saha, who talked about Superheroes. The talented 16 year old who came 3rd at Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge at the Grand Final, let the attendees know that even superheroes, are imperfect. Her takeaway message was that anyone is a superhero, and they are closer than we think they are – they are ordinary people who work to change the lives of others. ‘Love and resilience are a quality of superpower amongst many.’

Yousif Alawoad, shared his father’s incredibly story in Iraq. He quotes Steve Jobs to emphasize that, ‘people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do.’ Yousif’s father believed it. Yousif reiterated that unity is the spirit of justice – together we make an almighty sound. He captured the story of revolution in Iraq and the most recent one in Egypt – his talk was eyeopening and moving.


TEDxYouth@Croydon: Izin Akhabau

Izin Akhabau, a 17 year old aspiring journalist was next to take the stage. Izin highlighted the issue of the negative representation of young people in the mainstream media. She also offered encouragement on how young people can work to make their presentation better – by telling their own stories.

Kurtis Agyekum of Boy Blue Entertainment talked about purpose and dance. He posed the question, ‘what Is the  meaning of our lives…?’. He spoke about how dance transformed his life and encouraged the audience to ‘find a purpose, everyone is a piece of a puzzle’. The talk was followed by an amazing performance by Blue Print who are part of Olivier award winning Boy Blue Entertainment.  Talent starts at an early age and they have it in abundance.



Next up was Hannah Oyewole, founder of the Young Ladies Club, came with her message ‘change your beliefs, change the world’. With her personal story, Hannah demonstrated that changing your beliefs is key to changing your world – negative thinking leads to a negative life.


Arvand Hassan followed was telling us that it was ok to say ‘No’.  Arvand’s experience in Chicago on a leadership program, made him think about how he contributed to the community. He brought up the iconic image of Tiananmen Square as one of the most defiant ways of saying ‘No’ – the unidentified man standing in front of dozens of Chinese tanks. Saying ‘No,’ can simply change the world.



How to be an Engi-preneur was Croydon’s Dwayne Miller’s talk. First it  was to visualise the concept, analyse it and then to  actualise it. Dwayne used his personal experiences to demonstrate each point to get us to design our life.

Aina More brought emotion onto the red floors with her spoken word performance. “Everyday interactions with people should matter. When you make it matter, you can positively make change.’’ Many attendees were moved by her poetry. Aina ended her talk with, “make the choice today to make it matter.’’



Sadaf Moosvi, who moved to the UK from India in 2005, compared her life there to her life now, while also highlighting similarities between India and UK’s treatment of women – they are under-represented in politics. “Positive role models inspire and motivate women to go far. Having a young woman in politics can allow young girls to dream that they too can play a pivotal role.’’ Sadaf is determined to make a change and has set up a petition to be taken to Westminster’s political leaders to increase the number of women in UK politics.

Croydon’s own Ismael Musoke was taught that a sense of community was important. He believes the riots took place because the young people didn’t have a choice – this is also precisely why there’s a TEDxYouth@Croydon – to showcase the boroughs amazing young people and to offer them a platform to exchange their ideas. Ismael taught attendees the concept of TEAM – together everyone achieves more.




Next up was Yasmin Godo, who is a budding storyteller, experienced youth worker and mentor.  Growing up, she did not know the concept of Y.O.U. She shared her journey to Y.O.U – Yearly, Observational, Understanding. That way you choose what you become.

Last, but not least, was Tom Green, who works for the Children’s Commissioner for England and was inspired by his own personal experience to help young people get the rights and the voice they deserve. Tom imagines a world where young people have a say – something we all agree on!


This 2nd annual event was a resounding success, everything came together: the great partnerships, including Brakes Food and M&S for contributing to the food and beverages.  We cannot thank enough, the amazing speakers who worked so hard to hone and practice their speeches, the fab-u-lous TEDx team members who worked hard to pull the event together.  The volunteers who gave up their time to help on day and lastly the awesome attendees who brought their energy, support and charisma in making this ANOTHER great TEDxYouth@Croydon event.  Thank you all, thank you TED and we aren’t talking about the bear! 

Join us next year, where it will be even bigger and better.


Written by: Sieta Majok: @modernemeid

Photographs courtesy of: Andrew Witt Photography: @awittphoto

Website: www.tedxyouthcroydon.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TEDxYouthCroydn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxYouthCroydon