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TEDxYouth event organised in Suzhou by SKEMA students


On 1 April, a TEDxYouth event took place at Suzhou Dushu Lake near the SKEMA campus. Two SKEMA students, Léna Felderhoff and Thibaut Vincent, co-organised this event whose theme was innovation in education.

The event was attended by an audience of 400. TEDxYouth are TEDx events specifically aimed at young people who are often the organisers - but as usual, the event itself is open to all. 

After arriving in China in January 2017, our two students quickly met with the founders of TEDx Suzhou, who came to the Suzhou campus and asked them to organise a TEDx event as volunteers. Léna and Thibaut decided to organise their own event and the TEDx team at Suzhou entrusted them with the task. It was already mid-February and the event had to be held on April 1 – and this was no April fool.

During this very short time, Léna and Thibaut managed to set up a team of 21 students – a mix of students from SKEMA and Chinese students form other universities in Suzhou. This was the first time they had ever organised an intercultural event – not so easy when you are in China and your level of Chinese cannot really help in the negotiations. They overcame the challenge by using WeChat (n°1 social network in China) to communicate and the Chinese Amazon to order the necessary equipment. 

On April 1, our students thus managed to host great speakers from different nationalities: Craig Fullerton (English – he works for International Baccalaureate Accreditations), Jason Wang (Chinese student in languages), Sterling Toppings (American professor of art), Enes Doyuk (Turkish law student), Jessica Talamas (American scientist studying AND) and Richard Wood (British psychologist who works in education). As well as these interesting speakers, the student organisers also invited a music group and a hip-hop company.

The theme of innovation in education was not chosen by chance. Last year, Léa followed the new Sutainable Innovation programme on the Sophia-Antipolis campus. This experience really changed her both professionally and personally. Since following the programme, she has been deeply involved in innovation applied to education. Educating future generations means making them aware of certain worldwide problems and giving them suitable tools for dealing with this complex world. That was the reason why Léna and Thibaut wanted to create a place where different generations and cultures could come together discuss their best practices, and help to construct a better education system. All the comments they have received congratulate them for achieving this objective.  

Léna and Thibaut would like to thank the team and SKEMA for all their support in this project that would not have been possible without them. They encourage all SKEMA students to get involved in this type of “amazing adventure that we will remember for a long time to come!” 
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