One of the greatest features of Karolinska Institutet education is bringing motivated students together and channeling collaboration. In our classes, group work and cooperation are always emphasized. However, this mindset carries over to any other aspect of life. I spend just a short time on the team, but I could see that without this mentality the event would have not been possible. As a volunteer, I wanted to share with you some interesting insight into our preparation and the day itself. But first, let me give you a little insight into why I joined the team.
Why did I join?
As a high-school student, I watched inspiring TED talks all the time about pretty much anything and sometimes still do. It is a way to discover new ideas, new perspectives, and new knowledge. You would see me learn about “Why every world map is wrong” and tell everyone for several weeks after about our shared misconceptions. That’s why once I saw the volunteer application open, I knew just what to do.
Preparing for TEDxKI
Obviously before the actual TEDx talk wheels were already moving for months, everything needed to be set up and prepared. The team has been working since the beginning of November. As a volunteer, we had our instruction meeting a week prior, where everybody got specific roles assigned. Since I enjoy taking pictures and engaging with people, I volunteered to work the photo booth. During the initial meeting, we got to know the team with a fun get-to-know activity and tried some of the sponsored food. Everyone was excited about what was to come!
One day before the big event!
Well, an event like this takes many hands and people working together. Our roles for some of the volunteers included assembling 300 goodie bags. Yes, that’s a lot of goodie bags! You would think it probably takes hours to finish. However, with great teamwork and just some minor complications, it was done within 30 minutes. Other tasks included the arrangement of mini-games, our stations, and finalizing the setup. As a final part, everyone got filled in on where to be and at what time so the day could come.
The big day!
On the day itself, I had two tasks. During the first talk, I was an auditorium usher which basically meant I was responsible to make sure the talks go as smoothly as possible without any disturbances. My other responsibility was to take pictures of the guests who had the chance to dress up and use accessories related to the motto of the butterfly effect.
The whole event centered around the butterfly effect: How small actions can lead to massive changes. All of the speakers had incredible stories and motivating speeches. However, I would like to highlight three of my personal favorite.
One of the best talks I have ever seen was by Camilla Hamid. She shared her inspiring story of breaking down societal norms and becoming her own role model. Telling the journey from her parents’ plan of her pursuing a medical degree to finding her passion in baking was empowering.
Alex Budak demonstrated “How anybody can be a leader”. He went against the traditional notions of leadership and anyone can have a great impact in everyday situations without being a superhuman. His approach included three steps “1. Give yourself permission” this meant to avoid waiting for someone else’s permission to make change. In the second part “2. Go beyond yourself” he highlights the positive impact you can have on other people. Lastly, “3. Take action again & again” emphasizes that you should try to do it over and over again.
With the last talk, Wilma Emanuelsson displayed what incredible feats are possible if you allow yourself to think outside of the box. She is a 19 years old cybersecurity expert and started her own successful company to enable people with dyslexia to read. From her perspective, she explained how eliminating your own beliefs about what’s impossible can create your unlimited potential.
From dreaming of watching a TEDxTalk in-person to helping one take place is something I could have only imagined. Given the theme of this event, a small action such as volunteering for TEDxKI can have a huge impact in the future. Let’s see in the time to come! Therefore, I hope this insight motivated you to volunteer, join the team or buy tickets for next year (Even if it is just for the amazing goodie bag). Also, I highly recommend watching the inspiring talks which will be uploaded here next month on youtube, or reading this blog showing the perspective of the executive producer.
I am Tade. I am Nigerian/German and the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Nutrition Science. Before KI, I was studying in the Netherlands. My whole life I was interested in food and sports, and that is why I decided to study nutrition. When I learned about KIs group-focused teaching and the international environment I knew where I wanted to go. When I am not exploring or trying different foods I am playing basketball in Solna. If you are ever up for the challenge, you know where to find me!