On Saturday, March 19th, UCCI’s second live TEDx event took place here in the Cayman Islands. Over 200 attendees inclusive of teachers, students and parents gathered at Sir Vassel Johnson Hall for a day of ‘ideas worth sharing’ relating to the future.
“We were thrilled to have such a wonderful turnout. We doubled our expectations for audience size and tripled last year’s attendance,” said Dr. JD Mosley-Matchett, event curator.
Several speakers tackled the importance of conservation and sustainable development. In his talk, Nashville-based software developer, Micah Redding, underscored that we all live in a ‘developing world’. The concept of first world nations having reached the end of history and all they have to do is wait for the rest of the world to catch up is a disastrous idea. As such, everyone needs to look at new and transformative ways of living, as individuals and societies.
James Whittaker, Founder and CEO of GreenTech, issued a challenge for Cayman and others in the region to radically change the way we utilise and produce energy. This was echoed by Nick Robson who said that proper planning today can ensure economic and social sustainability over the next four decades. UCCI alumna and CITA Project Manager Stacie Sybersma stressed the importance of studying the ocean’s potential as an energy resource and unlocking its many secrets to find answers for diseases such as cancer.
Nutritionist Tamer Soliman made the audience realise how a much-overlooked treasure in Cayman can transform the health and well-being of people in the community. Tricia Sybersma introduced ‘Orbits’, a way to increase our ‘happy’ and navigate ourselves in a complicated world whilst connecting with others and our environment.
Creative professional, Pascal Pernix, showed how someone who grew up with no TV can achieve success in the arts and media. Missouri Professor, Bill Schonberg’s idea of a new curriculum placing importance on collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity will help students become more successful in the future. He also stressed that everyone needs to be technically literate in order to compete in the world of tomorrow.
The UCCI Performing Arts students delivered monologues voicing their opinions about tolerance and acceptance. They ended their presentation with an original composition entitled, ‘Who I Am’.
The attendees shared their stories and opinions in StoryCorps interviews conducted by the Cayman Islands Information Professionals (CIIP). They were also engaged in making giant Xs by blowing up balloons. ” I think it was the balloon activity that really did it for me,” said Dr. Mosley-Matchett. “Having spent months in planning, preparations, and rehearsals, the only surprise left for me was whether people would really wrestle with 5-foot long balloons to demonstrate their support for the event.”
TEDx events require a LOT of the presenters, attendees, volunteers and sponsors. It was no different for TEDxUCCI. “We thank all of the volunteers both from UCCI and the broader community who gave so much time and effort in the planning and execution of this successful event. In addition, none of this would have been possible without the generous support of our many donors, most especially our PhD sponsor, the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports,” Dr. Mosley-Matchett said.