KDI School of Public Policy and Management launched its first-ever TEDx event in August 2020. So, we decided to explore the inception of the idea. We invited Mr. Ayantola, a 2019 Fall MPP student from Nigeria, who led, alongside the PR Division of the KDI School, the curation of the first TEDxKDISchool, to answer a few questions and share his experience so far with us.
1. What were the reasons you wanted to organize this event at KDI school?
I came to KDI School in Fall 2019, and from the very beginning, I was impressed by the quality of education and co-curricular that the school offered. From student clubs to development forums, everything added to my understanding and knowledge as a policy enthusiast. The only thing I found missing was a TEDx event which is very common amongst the policy schools around the world. So, to bring this feather to the cap of the school, I decided to confer with the PR Division, and in no time, everyone was on board to offer support, including our dear Dean. He extended his unalloyed support to make it happen. Also, given the diversity at KDI School, with students from 100+ countries, I considered that there is a variety of conversations going on in this space. There is a lot of global context to the same ideas corresponding from people’s personal experiences. So, to bring these perspective to life, I automatically thought of TEDx as a platform to convey such experiences and stories.
2. How was your experience organizing this event during a pandemic? Did you face any difficulties?
One thing I have come to realize is that the world must learn to work with the pandemic; we must keep moving, regardless. While I wish it there were an end date in sight, the truth, is there isn’t. It is the new normal, and to make things happen, we need to innovate and organize accordingly. So keeping the same motivation in mind, we decided to make it a hybrid event where a part of the audience attends in person while complying with physical distancing protocols and the rest access the recorded online version. Our approach turned out to be an excellent opportunity to maximize our audience so the idea could be circulated more widely. And like I mentioned before, the support extended to the team by the school, especially the PR Division was extremely helpful in bringing the idea to fruition. The student team has also been working day and night to make it happen. So, I would say it was as difficult as it would have been otherwise, but the pandemic gave us more ways to bring out our creativity.
3. How was your team preparing this event?
I would say, and I think I speak for the team, that we are delighted about what we have put together in the last couple of weeks. We have put in our best efforts and I am sure there will be a lot of things that we will learn from this event as organisers. We will surely have some lessons to share for the future students on what they can do better. We feel bad for the ones who would not be able to attend in person, but the PR Division has ensured a real high-quality recording to give them the best user experience. The idea is to share stories, and as long as people connect and appreciate experiences, we would have fulfilled our objectives.
4. So, before we end this, can you tell me about the theme of the event?
So, the theme of our event is “Everything connects”, which we came up with after receiving a wide variety of speaker notes. the speeches were all so full of context and inspiration that we did not want to limit them under a constraining theme, because at the end of the day, learning from each other is a connecting cycle. We wanted our speakers to bring the gigantic pool of experience they have to the audience. We have a wide variety of speakers from our faculty to students and comedians who will be covering themes about urban growth during the pandemic, to the role of a father in the South Korean society and much more. We are excited about the experience that awaits our audience through this event.
Thank you Ayantola, we wish you and the team a very best of luck for this event.
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