Menlo News September 27, 2023

TEDxMenloSchool: Inspiring Minds, Shaping Futures

Menlo’s second-ever TEDx event features students, faculty, alumni, and community members sharing unique ideas and inspiring possibilities.

As a school that prides itself on fostering innovative thinking and promoting a lifelong love of learning, Menlo is an ideal venue for a TEDx program, founded in the spirit of “ideas worth spreading.” And with an impressive array of curious students, faculty masterminds, groundbreaking graduates, and trailblazing community members, it seems like the TEDxMenloSchool Committee’s biggest challenge would be narrowing down the speaker list.

The free event, to be held on September 30 from 4:30-6:30 pm in the Spieker Center, is aptly titled, “Inspiring Minds, Shaping Futures.” While the speakers and topics will vary widely—from Capitalism, bureaucracy, and the justice system to Vulture Culture, AI, and more—all talks were carefully curated to fit the theme of creating unique solutions to complex problems, challenging audience members’ thinking, and motivating them to take action.

When asked what intrigues him about the TEDx format, Senior Arjun Saluja, President of TEDxMenloSchool responds, “It’s sharing controversial or interesting opinions and a love for curiosity and thinking about things in different ways.”

Arjun is supported by two Vice Presidents, juniors Lauren Mrva and Sienna Swanson, as well as a team of 15 other students assisting with marketing, social media, speaker curation, and design. TEDx guidelines require each talk to be between 7-17 minutes, and the TEDxMenloSchool committee aims to keep them concise and easy to digest.

Faculty Advisor, Global Programs Director, and History Teacher Peter Brown loves the way TEDx empowers Menlo students. “They’re the ones driving this,” he says, impressed that our students volunteer to engage in public speaking that has nothing to do with a grade. He also admires how the committee has helped steer the content of the talks toward hope, putting an optimistic spin on hard topics, and generating open-mindedness instead of fear.“It’s easy to talk about crisis,” says Mr. Brown. “But we want people to see the possibilities.”

Learn more and register here!