Speakers ranging from entrepreneurs to performers and from engineers to ninjas will converge at Laguna Blanca School on Wednesday, January 29, for the third consecutive year of TEDx LagunaBlancaSchool. Following the pattern of powerful one-word themes established in previous years — Evolve (2018) and Uncharted (2019) — this year’s theme is called Reimagine and aims to expose the audience of 600 to dynamic speakers who are rethinking and redefining existing social constructs and received ideas.
Reimagine will feature Ghanaian soccer professional Fifi Baiden, who founded a soccer foundation for orphans; UCSB professor of computer science Misha Sra; and former “Stuntwoman of the Year” and American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff. Two Laguna Blanca students will be on the program as well. Seventh-grader Aydin Alsan will discuss his ideas for how artificial intelligence can help fight food waste and malnutrition, and sophomore Madeleine Nicks will explore period empowerment, which began as a biology project on the hormonal cycles that drive menstruation.
The daylong event is entirely student conceived and organized. Beginning in September, students in the TEDx LagunaBlancaSchool class dedicate much of their day to booking speakers and dealing with the wide range of issues that spring up daily when planning a TEDx event. The elective class, which is taught by Allison Armstrong, teaches students the ins and outs of working in a nonprofit and the details involved in planning a major event. Working in small groups on tasks such as speaker curation, design, communications, operations, and business development, the 18 student participants experience what it is like to create a real-world event designed to educate and reimagine what the future will bring.