Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Desmond Catron (K.I.P.P.)
Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conferences are annual conferences that include well-known speakers (such as David Blaine and Bono) who present research lectures, technology demonstrations, art performances and revolutionary ideas.
For over 30 years, TED has showcased the most profound intellectual leaders and renovators of our time, speaking on what and how they act to change the world while at the same time presenting entertaining subject matter. Most people who have heard of TED learned of it through TED Talks. TED Talks are a series of the lecture videos that are found online.
Patton Orr, a junior at Memphis University School, has created a TED Talk club that meets up once a month at the Benjamin L. Hooks Public Library for teens around Memphis to get hands-on experience of giving a TED Talk.
“In 18 minutes,” Patton said, “Teens have learned enough to give them a whole new perspective of the world through TED Talk.”
Patton was inspired by his older sister who has had some experience in TEDx; TEDx is a volunteer version of the TED conference held in many cities.
“I had first made TED Talk a club in my school.” Patton explained, “It grew throughout the year. We learned on a higher experience outside of our usual high school curriculum, which made the club even more appealing. I had begun to think the club should be accessible to all of my peers in Memphis. My mom mentioned my club to an administrator for the library and we talked about bringing the club to the community at the library. On Nov. 17, 2013, #TeenUp901 was launched to sort of launch and introduce the TED Talk Club to the community and gather responses on it from teens around our area. The TED Talk Club had its first meeting on January 29. Since then, we’ve had monthly meetings.”
This club gives teens from different parts of the city and county the opportunity to come together, have fun and collaborate with each other by learning in a way not generally found in school.
“It’s kind of like a second school but better,” Patton laughs. “There are so many self-deprecating opinions teens have about their own city.”
What is so different and unique about the TED Talk club is that it talks about how the TED Talk videos could be used to benefit our city, prep leaders with more knowledge and how it is proving to be a positive light for Memphis and the youth who inhabit it.