Select Invitation: Westminster Student Attends TEDGlobal>Geneva, Switzerland
Above, with a complimentary conference pass, Westminster College student Shrijan Amatya ’18 (left) traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the TEDGlobal Conference in December.
Shrijan Amatya ’18 came to Westminster College from Kathmandu, Nepal, with a clear vision for his future. He wanted to be a leader in society — someone who brings about positive change — and for him, Westminster was a step toward making that happen. Now, the Westminster student is well on his way to achieving his goals.
Amatya led the charge to bring TEDx events to the college’s campus earlier this year with TEDxWestminsterCollegeLive, an extension of the popular TED talks, international forums where people gather to hear inspirational or educational messages from thinkers, activists, politicians and creators. Based on his organizational leadership and the success of the Westminster events, he received a coveted complimentary invitation to TEDGlobal>Geneva Conference 2015 held in Geneva, Switzerland, this December. Amatya was one of only 450 TEDx organizers worldwide selected to attend.
TEDGlobal>Geneva featured 15 noted speakers and performers, who explored topics ranging from food and physics to economics and art history. Breaks featured flying drones, walking robots and virtual-reality headsets available for trying. For attendees such as Amatya, it was an event meant to spark further creative thinking, innovative leadership and global vision.
“I would say that the experience was, in some ways, life changing because I truly felt that I was part of a global movement that celebrates and promotes critical thought and ideas,” Amatya says.
Amatya is no stranger to pioneering innovative leadership opportunities to benefit those around him. Before arriving in Fulton, he worked on the Empowering Asia project in 2011; was one of the organizers in Kathmandu of iMarch, the largest youth-led movement on climate change; and was selected as one of 60 students from among 3,400 applicants to attend the Global Changemaker convention in the United Kingdom. He also helped lead the country’s first innovation lab — known as Peace Innovation Lab — in a rural town in western Nepal, where locals now have access to the resources and tools needed to address community challenges and design positive solutions. That work led him to Westminster, where he’s pursuing a degree in social innovation and entrepreneurship.
At TEDGlobal>Geneva, sessions began early each morning and ran late into the night, so Amatya spent long, intensive hours attending sessions, learning new ideas and mingling with other global thinkers.
“Meeting other TEDx organizers from all over the world, especially TEDx University event organizers, made me feel that I was part of a community that has a shared experience of organizing an event that takes extraordinary amounts of time, effort and persistence,” he says.
Although the age of TEDx organizers in attendance was diverse, Amatya says most of the organizers he came across were between 25 and 40 years old.
“It was a very inspiring and glass-ceiling-shattering experience,” he says.
Going forward, Amatya’s trip to Geneva could mean big things for the Westminster community. His TEDGlobal conference and workshop attendance removes the 100-person limit on future TEDx events, which means Amatya has the license to host bigger and better TEDx events in the future. At the conference, he learned about event curation, management and leadership tips that help create a better event.
“There was a lot of sharing that took place among the TEDx organizers, and I was very inspired by other TEDx events around the world that were much bigger in size,” Amatya says.
To learn more about TEDxGlobal>Geneva, including feature speakers and session highlights, visit http://blog.ted.com/tedglobalgeneva_recap.