The American School of Madrid has hosted two TEDxYouth@ASM events. The theme in 2022 was Rethink and students played a major role in the organization as part of an after-school activity (ASA). TEDxYouth@ASM is part of TED Talks, a global initiative about ideas worth spreading.
Rethinking our thoughts
Maria Gil Harris challenges us to rethink our thoughts to live happier lives. This talk looks at how sometimes it’s enough to take a step back and be a spectator of your own life to appreciate a given situation. Maria argues that even close friends with the best of intentions can’t always make us feel better about our problems, but she says we each have the power within to have a more positive outlook.
María is a 9th-grade student at the American School of Madrid. Her favorite subjects in school are literature and math and she enjoys playing volleyball. Maria is passionate about philosophy and she is very active in ASM’s philosophy club.
Rethinking antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics revolutionized medicine in the last century, saving countless lives. These days it is rare for a small wound to be deadly, but antibiotic resistance is a concern. Alan Kang says there is hope though in the study of epigenetics. Alan is a junior at the American School of Madrid who is passionate about biology. He loves to play and listen to music, and he’s interested in baking. Alan is really looking forward to becoming an adult and believes the best way he can contribute to society is by studying something related to biology in college.
Rethinking human bias in decision-making
Jesús Moreno challenges us to rethink human bias in our decisions. He looks specifically at decision-making in the context of grading and talks about how bias and noise affect us. Jesús is a 7th-grade student at the American School of Madrid and moved here from Ireland. Jesús has a strong interest in pursuing artistic hobbies like filmmaking. He loves to play the piano and dreams of becoming a classical pianist playing to audiences all over the world.
Rethinking culture shock
This talk dives into the benefits of something that generally has a negative connotation: culture shock. Natalia Meza, who left her native Venezuela at the age of 10, takes us through the various stages of culture shock. Natalia is a junior at the American School of Madrid. She enjoys Model United Nations and being part of ASM’s volleyball team. Her favorite subjects are English and Biology and later she would like to study something involving both the sciences and humanities.
Rethinking beauty standards
In this talk, Jingyao Wang makes the case for rethinking beauty standards. She argues that beauty should be universal because different standards in different countries fuel people’s insecurities. Also, she says, obsessing with how we look regardless of the standards is bad for our mental health and efforts should be made to normalize loving ourselves just the way we are. Jingyao is a junior at the American School of Madrid who moved to Madrid from Shanghai at the age of 7. She is passionate about music and plays both the piano and violin. Jingyao would like to go to college in the US and keep playing music.
Rethinking how we view mental illness
Susannah Rosow wants us to rethink how society treats people with depression and other mental illnesses. She says depression is not a character flaw, it is something you have, not something you are. Susannah advocates for talking about mental illness openly, kindness, and empathy. Susannah is a 9th grader at the American School of Madrid. She is an aspiring lawyer/human rights activist and would love to live in Italy one day. She loves to draw, paint, listen to music, and play instruments. Susannah believes in the importance of educating others, as she believes it's the first step towards change.
In this talk, Luca Menendez makes the case for rethinking how we define privacy. For example, he wants us to think twice before accepting cookies on a new website. Luca talks about the different schools of thought, explaining that for some, privacy rights are confused with property rights. Luca is a 9th grader at the American School of Madrid. His hobbies include building robots, taking part in Model United Nations conferences, and competing in triathlons. Luca plays the double bass and the piano and is an avid follower of international news. He plans to pursue a career either in international relations or a STEM-related field.
Rethinking the definition of success
Mariangel Garcia challenges us to rethink the definition of success. She argues that teenagers around the world are suffering from burnout because of unrealistic expectations that they can do it all. This talk is about the dangers of comparison and how we need to consider how much our mental health is affected in our quest for success. Mariangel is a junior at the American School of Madrid. She moved from Venezuela at a young age but still very much identifies with the culture of her youth. Mariangel enjoys painting, has a strong interest in STEM-related subjects, and is passionate about social dilemmas.
Rethinking human connections
Have you ever stopped to think about what you and the neighbor you’ve never spoken to have in common? Mia Kehler argues that we are all far more connected than we realize. She delves into the six degrees of separation theory and also looks at sonder. Mia is a junior at the American School of Madrid taking the IB diploma programme. She is American, Croatian, and Venezuelan. Mia loves to travel, read, and listen to music. At university, she would like to study either sociology or psychology.
Rethinking the meaning of work
Juliana Pereira takes the mass resignation as the starting point for her talk about rethinking the meaning of work. She takes us on her journey from high achiever working for advertising agencies, to entrepreneur, to finding her calling by chance in community building. Juliana also shares three lessons she learned along the way She was raised in three cultures - American, Portuguese, and Colombian - and says this makes her a natural connector. She has worked in several industries, including advertising, marketing, and PR, and she had her own beauty company. Most recently, Juliana has focused on community building and human connection.
Rethinking the fashion industry
Anna Lisa McBride wants us to rethink the fashion industry and our role in it. The fashion industry is thought to be the second-largest polluter in the world and, Anna Lisa says, we all have a relationship to fashion. In this talk, she helps us better understand the issues so that we can be a part of the solution. Anna Lisa started her career in public relations and advertising before moving to the brand licensing industry. She loves design and sewing and is currently studying for a second bachelor’s degree in textile design and communication.
What it means to rethink
What motivates us to explore, investigate, and make discoveries that revolutionize the way people think and live? Brian Hallett delves into epistemic curiosity and what it actually means to rethink. He argues that curiosity is the superpower of humans. Brian also looks at what blocks curiosity, including, he argues, technology.
Brian is a brand storyteller and professor at IE University in Madrid. He worked in the corporate consulting world for many years before launching a creative agency. Brian has taken photos, filmed, and directed all over the world.
This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.