Ransom Everglades students planned, produced and expertly executed the second TEDxRansomEverglades at Swenson Hall on April 2, using the theme of “emerge” to build and showcase a program of engaging talks and presentations related to art, linguistics and technology.
Daniel Figueroa ’24, Annika Gelber ’23, Andre Joseph ’22, Ella Lombardo ’24, Max Vallone ’22, Kira Oglesby ’22 and faculty member Scott O’Donnell each took the stage to deliver, in the tradition of TEDx, “ideas worth spreading.” Lead organizer Diya Tekriwal ’22 served as emcee, sharing the duties with fellow event organizers Mark Mateo ’22, Victoria Porto ’22 and Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24.
“Today our speakers have embraced ‘emerge,’” Porto said. “They have embraced this concept and brought their unique perspective to the stage.”
Associate Head of School John King and faculty members Alfredo Palacio, Andrea Gallardo and Frances Alexander served as faculty organizers, and many students contributed behind the scenes.
Gelber discussed how social media platforms such as TikTok have advanced acceptance of and education about the LGBTQ+ community and various social justice causes in a talk called “Queer Liberation in 60 Seconds.” Figueroa explained the historical and contemporary power of words and how they have evolved to shape communities and identities.
In a talk called “Go Make Something,” Vallone talked about how hobbyists use confidence, inspiration, communities of support, tools and mentors to participate in innovation. Joseph examined how the emergence of artificial intelligence has aided and abetted attempts to undermine democracy through gerrymandering. O’Donnell and Oglesby explained how they had emerged through their respective arts forms, and O’Donnell performed on the violin and Oglesby danced.
By sharing her experiences leading up to brain surgery, Lombardo advocated for empathy over “toxic positivity,” which she described as the dismissing of negative emotions by responding with false positivity.
“Your ideas,” Tekriwal said, “have inspired all of us.”
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.