There is a strong sense of empowerment that flows through the eight TEDx talks in our newest TEDxSpotlights>Girl Power. It’s clear the voices of girls and young women around the world are growing louder, motivated by an urgent need to change perceptions about how they think and live; and what they are capable of achieving.
The talks highlight some of the extraordinary achievements of the speakers, and shed new light on what girl power means, namely, that although many of the female speakers seek to make change for girls, they are using their voices to campaign for inclusivity regardless of race, gender or traditional definitions of self.
All of these talks are poignant and impassioned. Girl power isn’t just a catch phrase; it’s a vehicle through which necessary changes are being made, sparked by a group of girls and young women emboldened to shift perceptions and customs around the world. As Zoe Conolly Basdeo says from the TEDxSevenMileBeach stage, the adage that children are to be seen and not heard is no longer admissible.
Watch all eight of the talks below.
A manifest from Generation Z | Elise By Olsen | TEDxOslo
16 year-old Elise By Olsen, the editor of the youth culture magazine Recens Paper, speaks from the TEDxOslo stage about the misunderstanding about Generation Z. She argues this is due in part because their voices have been shut out from the media. To give a platform through which her peers can express themselves, By Olsen started Recens Paper when she was 13, and said it’s the “showcase in a physical format for teens who have not had their fair chance exposing their work yet because of their age and lack of experience.” By Olsen has opened up an exchange of ideas that allow for a broader conversation, to challenge the norms set up in both the fashion and design industry, one she said has the power to change attitudes and to open up the door for teens to explore their creative processes.
Girls need to lean in too! | Diva Sharma | TEDxWalledCity
Diva Sharm, a high school student from Delhi, asks “why is that that young girls continue to hit the glass ceiling when it comes to pursuing their dreams?” She speaks about how girls don’t have access to education; and when they do, they are often a minority in the classroom. As a result, their male classmates tend to interrupt them, talk over them, and subsequently shut down their voices, hampering the educational process.
Let’s stop child marriage with education | Alinafe Botha | TEDxYouth@Lilongwe
Alinafe Botha was born into a polygamous family. Her mother separated from Botha’s father and eventually passed away. Although Botha’s uncle promised to take care of her and to provide her with an education, he instead gave her an ultimatum: either get married at 12 or go out on her own. Botha decided to leave her family and her village to attend a school for orphans. She wants to give girls who feel hopeless a sense of belief that they can do whatever they want, but says she can’t do it alone. “Let us all try to exceed expectations,” she says.
Meet a 12 year-old patent holder | Asuka Kamiya | TEDxKyoto
Inspired by her grandfather who owned a grocery store and had to separate aluminum and steel cans for recycling, Asuka Kamiya came up with a device to separate the two types of cans. As a result, she became one of the youngest patent holders in Japan. Listening to her process is fascinating and speaks to the power of allowing a young person to think freely and creatively.
My journey to the North Pole and back | Jade Hameister | TEDxMelbourne
What if young women around the world were encouraged to be more rather than less? Jade Hameister begins her TEDxMelbourne talk about how she is bombarded with messages to be less: to eat less, to wear less, and to weigh less. Hameister decided to reject these feelings about whether she was good enough and, at age 14, became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from anywhere outside the Last Degree. She imagines a world where all young women can take part in “adventurous thinking” where they can follow their dreams, rather than keeping them at bay.
Finding curious solutions with STEM | Paige Brown | TEDxDirigo
Paige Brown, a self described, “weird kid in middle school obsessed with math” loved to play in the streams outside of her home because they seemed to be always changing. Eventually, the streams became a “significant part of my identity.” She joined the inaugural STEM class at her Bangor, Maine high school and discovered she loved science as much as math; her research on water pollution and the solutions on how to fix it, won her recognition and first place in prestigious competitions.
Be whoever you want at any age | Ishita Katyal | TEDxGateway
It’s a question often asked of children: What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ishita Katyal feels this question has an inherent problem: “It tells young people it’s ok to wait until they grow up to do what they want to do,” she says. “It diminishes what a young person is capable of doing today.” In an optimistic talk on the TEDxGateway stage, Katyal says she feels that people of all ages are capable of achieving great things.
Being young is about free thinking | Zoe Conolly Basdeo | TEDxSevenMileBeach
“I believe young people should have the freedom to be able to step out from under the shadow of the past and into the light of change to secure our place in the world today,” says Zoe Conolly Basdeo at TEDxSevenMileBeach. She argues that change opens us up to individual thought and an evolution within our communities. She challenges the notions of traditional teachings and feels that the hunger for change grows with each new generation.