In about 12 hours, we're opening the stage for our speakers to run the final dress rehearsal before the official event on Saturday. They will get a final chance to polish their slides, get last minute feedback from their coaches and get familiar with the stage. The crew will hook up all of the equipment and ensure everything works well in symphony - the cameras, sound system, lights, mics, projectors, webcast, etc. The space will transform from a chaotic and disorganized mess at the start to a well organized system in which everyone knows their role on the day of and people can recite the schedule and order of events by heart. Anyone who has helped put together an event with live presentations knows that the rehearsal day is probably the most stressful day when everyone runs around in panic and worries that something was missed. Despite all that panic and anxious feelings, the rehearsal is a culmination of months of efforts in planning, communication, and preparation that has the effect of strongly gluing the team together. I think that is the reason why we all work really hard to create platforms like TEDxKids@BC, despite the fact that we all have our regular busy life filled with family obligations, work, school, etc. We cherish the connectedness and the ability to create something bigger than ourselves through collaborative effort.
TEDxKids@BC is not planned by a committee behind closed doors. Ideas are freely shared and everyone is encouraged to shape a little piece of the final event according to their interest, abilities and comfort level. We welcome both youth willing to learn and adults passionate about mentoring kids and fostering their creativity. Our readiness to invite anyone that shows their passion to us and is excited to contribute to the event creates a sense of freedom, but at the same time comes with a demand for commitment. The net effect is that of creating a community - it fosters a sense of belonging and understanding, a sense of purpose and role, a sense of value and respect. It creates a safe environment in which experimentation is encouraged, learning is the goal and little failures are the tools with which we find our creativity. We are all inspired by the ideas and stories shared by our speakers, but the truth is, inspiration is the fuel of our community long before the speakers hit the stage on the rehearsal day, when many on the team hear their stories for the first time. It is the little acts of support, sharing and openness that inspire us all to work hard and collaborate. Rehearsal day makes this visible on the faces of every team member and transfers onto the speakers who realize they didn't sign up to give a speech, but they were welcomed into a family.
Then comes the event day! After months of effort, with ache in the muscles from the lack of sleep and general sense of lightheadedness, it feels like a dream. It is liberating to let go and watch the day unfold, but it is also scary to know you need to sit through the whole movie to see the end - and it is the end that you fear the most. You watch as speaker after speaker go on the stage and get the air filled with inspiration. The audience is in awe and you can't be happier. The break comes and you connect with many of the guests who tell you how inspired they felt by so and so's talk and claim how their lives will now change after the event. You give them a tired smile, knowing that inspiration is easy, but getting oneself to truly act takes courage, persistence, sense of mission and direction. After all, you've been in the situation yourself many times. Wait a minute, you say to yourself! You did act on your inspiration! That is why you are standing here, feeling happy about the fruits of your effort. You are a living example that action is possible. The speakers are agents of change and action too. What is missing? Why your guests are struggling to move into action themselves? What else is needed besides inspiration? It is the very question we will be trying to answer on Saturday! If you are joining us in person at Science World, we would very much like to connect with you and to connect you with our speakers to let them share their own steps into action and give you hands-on advice how to work on your own mission. If you are watching live from our website, we would like to hear from you to find out where you are coming from, which speaker inspired you and how can we help you to move that inspiration into action. Stay tuned! -- With this article, I would like to express my gratitude to my team about their trust, support and countless hours put together to create our next event. I feel awed and humbled at the energy, passion and creativity you bring into TEDxKids@BC! I wish you all lots of fun during the rehearsal and event day. Thank you!