x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Tell Us A Story

This event occurred on
March 22, 2014
3:00pm - 6:00pm +04
(UTC +4hrs)
Abu Dhabi, Abū Z̧aby
United Arab Emirates

TEDxYouth@ACS is the CAS project of Dina Shriem and Dennis Hilgendorf (Class of 2014). CAS stands for Creativity, Action and Service; it is a core component of the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The idea for a TED-like day of talks came up during the second semester of Grade 11, when clips from TEDTalks videos were screened and discussed in classes such as English Higher Level and Theory of Knowledge.

ACS Auditorium
American Community School of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, Abū Z̧aby
United Arab Emirates
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­A­C­S events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Amira Al-Subaey

Youngest Saudi-American Kilimanjaro summitter
Last summer, Amira Al-Subaey became the youngest Saudi-American woman to climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. That's the height of seven Burj Khalifas. How appropriate, then, that she shares seven lessons learned from preparing for, ascending, "summitting," and -- just as important -- descending from "Kili," the awe-inspiring mountain she is now on a nickname basis with.

Amit Khanna

Biology teacher
He may be a biology teacher, but, to his students, Amit Khanna is first and foremost a storyteller. Yet good science can ruin a great story. Drawing from his repertoire of childhood anecdotes and science news alike, Mr. Khanna contends that, sometimes, the trees are as important as the forest.

Anne Russell

Community Service Director, American Community School of Abu Dhabi
The stories of our lives are made up of moments, and a "blue sweater" moment is a defining one. Not only that, says Anne Russell, it's a moment that you realize will define you from that point on. Listen as ACS's community service director shares examples poignant and humorous -- with the "Patty Duke Show" theme song thrown in for good measure.

Ashwini Singh

Anime fanatic
A self-confessed anime fanatic, Ashwini Singh has enjoyed more than 300 shows in the past three years. What could inspire such devotion? Her answer pulls together philosophy and technology and media studies, and takes apart thought-provoking scenes from a few of her favorite shows. Like all narrative forms, anime allows its fans to ponder the human condition ... so don't tell Ashwini it's only for children.

Eric Hilgendorf

Associate Dean, Community and Education Engagement, NYU Abu Dhabi
Perfect moments are vital for us, and rare. They can happen anywhere: a baseball game, a restaurant, a train pulling out of a busy station. They've probably happened to you, but how would you recognize them? In a heartwarming talk filled with hilarious anecdotes, Mr. Hilgendorf presents a trifecta of perfect moments.

Julia Grifferty

Boot the Bottle founder
Three years in the making, Julia Grifferty's "Boot the Bottle" campaign is not only an environmental cause; it's a cause for social justice. Julia's talk continues the story that started it all in her 7th-grade science class. Today, her big idea has the potential to transform ACS as a sustainable campus and a community of global citizens.

Matt Foss

English teacher
As an English teacher, Matt Foss expects students to have opinions. Starting with an image from Dante's "Inferno," he explains why we should care -- and not only about literature. Life, says Mr. Foss, should always make you feel as if you're on a roller coaster.

Melissa Dertian

Drama teacher
Are you an artist? Do you speak five languages? Can you do handstands or backflips? If you weren't born with these abilities, must you lead a watercolor-less, monolingual, unacrobatic life? Melissa Dertian doesn't think so. She may not be able to accurately sketch cats (yet), but as ACS's theater and public speaking teacher, Ms. Dertian knows a thing or two about "learnable talent."

Paul Self

English teacher
You know you're in Paul Self's class when he takes you to the steps of the School of Athens. The journey will introduce you to the most famous teacher and student in Western civilization. It encompasses the history of thought from ancient Greece to contemporary cultural criticism, and it all started in Kentucky. Prepare for a Self education.

Valdir Chagas

French teacher
With so much reading to do these days, who has time for "The Classics"? French teacher Valdir Chagas tackles this bête noire of language and literature students. The classics, he asserts, make us who we are. Racine and Voltaire introduce us to people we'll meet later in life; Sartre allows us to form our own opinions; Flaubert and Borges show us how to communicate them in beautiful words.

Organizing team


Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Dennis Hilgendorf
    Curator and executive producer
  • Dina Shriem
    Curator and executive producer
  • Jorge Padilla
  • Sarah Daher
    Stage manager
  • Nuno Andrade
    Production crew
  • Diana Nakib
    Front of house
  • Anjali Hopley
    Front of house
  • Kinga Szprengiel
    Video and production lead
  • KuChul Jung
    Video crew
  • Nyx Whatley
    Video crew
  • Koko Balian
    Video crew
  • Ashwini Singh
    Video editor