On the 16th of January I had the amazing opportunity to go to TedxTeen thanks to Future Foundations with a group of other FF Alumni. This year’s theme was untapped, based around a poem of the same title.

TEDxTeen was an experience I shall never forget, from being able to meet Nile Rodgers to seeing Rudimental live, an experience so notably different that nothing can compare to it. The talks really inspired me to do better and to pause, and think about the world that we live in and they ways I can improve it.

UNTAPPED

We are the firsts. The first idea, the first innovation, the first collaboration, the first of its kind. You never saw us coming. Until now.

We are navigators. We are creators. Our voices and actions generate movements.

We are not potential, we already discovered your future.

We are not generation x, y, or z. Our impact is not defined by a letter.

We are more than a label. We are this generation. We are simply uncharted, original and we are positively lighting the world on fire.

We are here. We are now. We have been Untapped.

Throughout the day we watched talks varying on topic from Konstantin Avdienko talking about how he invented a device that could solve the pressing issue of the scarcity of pure water to  Kash Gaines who captures the beauty of the human experience through dance.

However the talk which resonated with me the most was by a girl called Ciara Judge who took to the stage in pjamams. Ciara talked about how she and two friends transformed her spare bedroom into a science lab, and researched the bacterium rhizobium on the yield of wheat, oats, and barley. Ciara and her friends built a homemade incubator out of fish boxes, a thermostat, and a lightbulb, which to the bewildered meant to her long suffering mother whos entire house had been practically taken over by this point.  After spending much of the summer painstaking experimenting, they showed that rhizobium cut the germination period of oats and barley in half. Then they planted thousands of seeds in her garden, and the bacteria-treated barley yielded 75% more than expected. Because the population will reach 9 billion by 2050, and need 50% more food, she hopes that her innovation will help combat the global food crisis.

Her age and courage stood out to me, as well as her time and commitment to actually making an impact on the world. All of this was not only incredibly impressive from a 18 year old, but inspiring as Ciara spoke to us about how young people really are untapped resources, that teenagers are literally built to be innovators, due to our stubborn nature and refusal to accept no. However often we are put off due to the assumption that we must have extremely expensive high-tech facilities or have a doctorate to make a big change in the world. Instead all we really need is an Internet connection and determination to follow our courageous dreams even if that means saving the world in your pajamas.

We can jump in without the fear of making mistakes because if we do the only witness will be the four walls of our bedroom

Ciara Judge

Instead of being Generation X, Y OR Z, be Generation Y NOT

Ciara Judge