Voke‘s speech was a passionate speech about labels and the assumptions that are behind them. She said that she “stands proud of each and every one of them”, as the labels alone are not negative. Voke’s speech emphasised that just because people are labelled, it does not mean that the assumptions behind those labels are correct and that it is important not to judge people before we know them. She shared her ideas about the possibility of a world without assumptions, and how that would be a better, fairer world. Her message is an important one that needs to be heard. 

Hashim Syed

Hashim Syed, one of our very own BSN Alumni, came back to us for a day to participate in our TEDx event. He gave a rousing speech about his experiences on unlocking his inner leader. Starting off as a hockey captain, he had trouble keeping his emotions in check and his head in the game, leading to a poor showing from his team. He quickly learned the importance of being able to listen to and to empower others, leading his team by example. This was far more successful than his previous approach, allowing his team to win some matches at the end of the season.  

He later applied for a managerial position in a company, but missed out on the job and instead got a role lower down on the ladder. While he was disappointed at first, he quickly realised he didn’t need recognition or a title to make a difference. Believing in the power of a smile, he moved on to eventually become the CEO.

Cole Webber

Cole Webber is a Canadian student who felt he wasn’t being taught enough at school at the age of 12. Entering an international competition to design a school of the future, he focused on the learning processes of the school rather than the infrastructure. This approach amazed the jury, leading to him winning the competition and being invited to a meeting with high-up officials of the Canadian government. They wanted his feedback on how to make his dream a reality for all, improving the Canadian education system.  

He ended up working to help design over 20 schools across Canada, but was shocked by the state of the education system. He discovered that the last reform to the system was older than he was, and decided to make it his mission to change that. Now, believing that an impact can be made not only with the system but also the people, he has founded the Sparked foundation; a non-profit organisation with the aim of changing education all over the world for the better.

Rowan McCabe

Rowan McCabe is the world’s first door-to-door poet who shared his experiences at the TEDx event. Rowan spoke about how many people face loneliness in their everyday lives, and how he wanted to fight that with poetry. His job as a door-to-door poet involves him knocking on the doors of people’s homes and seeing if they would like him to write a poem for them on any topic that they would like. He recalled that he had been warned to stay away from certain neighborhoods that had bad reputations for crime, however he had wanted to spread his poetry, so he went anyway and the people there were very different to what he had expected.


Will is a student at the BSN who spoke about technology. “How ethical is your technology?” This is the message that he wanted people to consider. He talked about how in our everyday lives we should make ethical decisions, such as our use of public transport.

Mindy Howard

Mindy Howard spoke to us about her dream of one day becoming an astronaut. She is currently working on the idea of 1 hour space flights for people who are not qualified astronauts, but would like to see space. Her job is to train and prepare people for that, so that they can enjoy the little time that they have up there. She described the experience of ‘being in the flow’ and having a peak experience.


Alex was another one of the BSN student speakers. He spoke passionately about his experiences with videogames, dispelling many common stereotypes about gamers. Arguing that the learning curve of videogames helps sharpen your pre-frontal cortex and that the satisfaction of reaching goals in videogames can be harnessed for real-life motivation, he provided a refreshing insight into the benefits of gaming.

Nick van Breda

Nick van Breda was a guest speaker in the TEDx event who spoke about his addiction to video games when he was younger. He shared his experiences and how he decided to turn his life around to make an impact on the world. His viewpoint is that gaming can be used in the outside world to improve skills such as teamwork and resilience. He believes that these skills can lead to people who are gamers when they are young becoming entrepreneurs later in life.


Ioan was one of the junior school students who spoke at the event. His speech was based around creating awareness of deceptive advertising. He wants people to be aware that food commercials do not use real food, and that the catchy music and slogans are there to attract children to the food. Ioan’s speech focused on the message that people should not trust advertisements, as they sometimes deceive people about their product.


Ingrid was the second junior school student who spoke at the event, and her chosen topic was ‘Trust the Crust’. Ingrid was inspired to talk about food waste after hearing her grandmother’s stories of life in WW2 Germany. Her speech was based on her belief that children should be encouraged to not waste perfectly edible food.


Pragnya was also a junior school student who participated and chose her topic to be about urging people to follow their dreams. She spoke about the importance of following your own dreams, rather than those imposed upon you.


Sahrid gave a speech about the utmost importance of maintaining identity in a globalised world. Speaking about the importance of diversity in thinking, he argued that everybody thinking the same way leads to nobody being a bold thinker. 


Maddison highlighted the importance of questioning the education system with her speech, asking whether standardised testing kills individuality. She shared her concerns about the silence surrounding education systems worldwide, stating that she believes a discourse needs to be open in order to make impactful changes to the way we learn. Arguing that results alone cannot accurately value students, she encourages such a discourse to open.  


Manya spoke about seizing opportunities to mold your identity. Asking “Who do you want to be?”, she made her speech about the importance of becoming an opportunist and taking full advantage of all the opportunities we have today.

Wendy Mensink

Wendy Mensink, a guest speaker, made her speech about her passion for space. A graphic designer, she was fascinated about space ever since her childhood. Having previously designed Dutch stamps, she entered the International Space University and followed her dream of sharing the beauty and wonders of space to the world through her work.


Tobias spoke about our irrational fear of change, sharing his own positive outlooks on moving house or country. Stating that “There’s no good in accepting a change if you don’t commit to it”, he argues that when opportunity knocks on the door, we should let it in rather than shooing it away.  


Megan, a Y11 BSN student, gave an inspiring speech about the importance of keeping positive throughout life. She encouraged the audience to be the positive change they want to see in the world by ‘blowing bubbles of positivity’.

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