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TEDxYouth@BISHCMC: Transformations 2018

06 April 2018

On Thursday 8th March 2018, a group of dedicated Year 11 students held the inaugural TEDxYouth@BISHCMC event, bringing together the local community in Ho Chi Minh City to share ‘ideas worth spreading’.

  • TEDx Youth @BISHCMC
What is TEDxYouth?

TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on a range of subjects including education, business, science, technology and creativity.

TEDx was created, as described on the official TEDx website, ‘in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” It supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.’

It was delightful to witness how all the team members, speakers and performers collaborated effectively in preparation for the event. – Nina Pham, Co-organiser

Its goal is to help individuals such as the students at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City to spark conversation within their community through local TED-inspired talks.


Our TEDxYouth@BISHCMC event was organised by a dedicated team of BIS HCMC students as part of the school’s extra-curricular activity programme.

Our students organised a diverse line up of speakers from the fields of medicine, research, economics, filmmaking side by side with some compelling student speakers. The varied topics and ideas made for a thought provoking evening that in many ways captured the spirit of interdisciplinary learning that we champion at BIS.

All elements of the evening were created in-house: from the wonderful stage décor, to the famous TEDx badges as well as the activities of the ‘social space’ outside the theatre.

 TEDx was a wonderful experience. I was amazed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the members of the organising team. Everyone was well-supported and the leadership was brilliant. The speakers were all very inspirational. – Annie Pham, Marketing Team

Our Speakers

During this independently organised TEDx event, a wide range of speakers offered talks on the theme of 'Transformations'. We listened to local voices that offered creative responses to transformations in Ho Chi Minh City. We saw student speakers reinvent the meaning of cultural identity and intergenerational misunderstandings. We watched teachers, students, environmentalists and medical practitioners investigate how we can change lives, including our own.

For those of you who were unable to attend the event, please find below the recorded talks of each of our 8 guest speakers:

Will we enjoy our “supposed” future? - Tue Minh Nguyen, Year 13 BISHCMC Student

Tue Minh has a range of interests both academic and personal. She enjoys observing the world around her and always welcomes a vigorous debate on almost any topic. Her defining feature is her passionate love of learning. ​In her talk, she shares personal thoughts from the perspective of a senior high school student, struggling to identify a clear future. She calls for the collective self reassessment on society’s perspective on future goals and choices, on why students force themselves into situations of academic scrutiny and tribulation. 

Using film to tell real stories that matter - Pedro Roman,  BISHCMC Teacher

After completing his BA in Media in native Spain, Pedro moved to London, where he worked in a production company. He subsequently trained as a teacher and taught Spanish and French in a school in Essex. In September 2014, it was time for a change and Pedro moved to Vietnam to teach in an international school. Pedro has created several short films in his free time and after a few years in Vietnam he is ready to make a Vietnamese film. In his talk Pedro explains how he goes about this project.

The art of cheating death - Dr Rafi Kot, Internist, CEO & Founder of Family Medical Practice

Tel Aviv native Dr. Rafi Kot is the C.E.O. and founder of Family Medical Practice. He first opened the practice in 1994 after running a number of health care projects for remote minority groups in Vietnam. Dr. Rafi’s TEDx talk focuses on the innovations that have allowed his medical service to respond to and challenge the prevailing medical environment of Vietnam through a consistent pursuit of advanced medical technologies.

How everyone can make a difference - Duc Huynh, Year 8 BISHCMC Student

Raised in Ho Chi Minh city, Duc Huynh has experienced all the aspects of daily, modern city life in Vietnam. After joining BIS in 2014, he has established himself as a public speaker in being the proverbial mascot of the Global Goals Club. Inspired from his childhood experiences of Ho Chi Minh’s ever increasing problem of pollution, Duc’s talk explores the origin, continuation and impact of the culmination of rubbish within his immediate environment - especially the intricacies of societal engines that powers this issue in developing countries. 

Learning to unlearn -  Ana Samudio, Year 12 BISHCMC Student

Ana Samudio is a Panamanian expatriate. She has been a student at BIS for 3 years. Based on her past experience in school and previously read quotes, Ana has become interested in the idea of learning to "unlearn". In an international school with such a strong community group and partners, it is imperative that we spread awareness of the local and global issues and to remember and understand that our ideas can often be wrong.

Transforming agricultural economy to improve quality of life - Will McFarland, Economist

​Will is an economist working on climate change and agriculture, as well as the owner of a gym in Ho Chi Minh City. Originally from London, UK, he is currently based in Vietnam. He works throughout Asia to solve one of the world's most complex issues: how to prevent dangerous climate change while allowing 9 billion+ people to lead good lives. Will's talk focuses on agriculture transformations in Vietnam. He discusses how we can get out of the trap of producing rubbish 'things' in order to improve our quality of life.

Religion and identity amongst expats - Bennett Jones, Year 11 BISHCMC Student

Bennett Jones is a Canadian expatriate from a mixed-religion background. Besides his hometown of Toronto, Bennett lived in Shanghai for over three years and has been a student at BIS in Ho Chi Minh City since 2013.  ​Partly as a result of his own experiences and background, Bennett is particularly interested in the role religion plays in the identity of his fellow expatriate youth in an international school setting, discussing ideas such as how religion acts in contribution as an anchor to the culture that expatriates leave behind.

Fighting deadly fungi - Professor Jeremy Day, Professor of Infectious Diseases

Professor Jeremy Day lives in Ho Chi Minh City where he leads the Central Nervous System and HIV Infections Research Group at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. Research focuses on large randomized controlled trials powered to survival, designed to inform physician decision making at the point of diagnosis. Intervention trials, conducted throughout Asia and Africa, drive a programme of basic science investigating the ecology, pathogenesis, immunology and drug susceptibility of the pathogens of interest.

Being a member of the TEDx organising team was an amazing experience and it was a great opportunity to bring such a great event to our school. We worked with a range of student and external speakers, who delivered strong speeches on transformations. As a team leader, I was also able to develop my leadership, communication and collaboration skills through working with different people and acting as a liaison between team members and teachers. I hope to continue being part of the TEDx team in the future.- Chae Won Oh, Marketing Leader

Mr Carl Mincher, Head of BIS HCMC Secondary Campus described his thoughts on the evening, “The student group that created and curated the event so professionally deserve great praise. Their passion for the spoken word used to such great effect was impressive and like the audience around them they were so clearly tuned in and affected by powerful engaging speakers with something very interesting to say. Of course, as educators this is something we each aspire to with our students every single day.”

Thank you to our speakers for taking the time to join our inaugral TEDxYouth event and a huge congratulations goes out to our student organisers on planning and showcasing such a wonderful event for our entire community.