According to the Oxford English dictionary, the definition of "disruptor" is "one who breaks up, one who causes disruption." When we think of "Remarkable Disruptors," the theme of the inaugural TEDxTeen London event, (which I'm hosting on October 11), we are focusing on positivity, rather than the negativity of the word's original connotation.
Our thought pattern has been dealt a 360-degree curve ball to consider those who are daring to break up, those who are daring to be innovative and embrace change. I can tell you my #bighair -- and some might say persistent character -- has been pretty disruptive at times. I applaud this. In fact, I think this is one of the strongest theme's TEDxTeen has ever had. It almost sounds like a lyric from a hip hop artist, something that should be graffitied onto street walls, it's an exciting, creative and incredible teenage opportunity.
There are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of ambitious teens striving to make their way in this super digital world, where he's who's not fast is most certainly last! But what are we actually trying to say here with respect to teenagers? How can we embrace it, push it, plug it, dissect it? No one should tell you age is a barrier. The motto of TEDxTeen in London is that if you're good enough, you're old enough (I'll vouch for that) and what better way to do that than presenting an incredible platform of young people who are driving change? I'm not going to lie, my excitement levels are at gargantuan proportions, with the prospect of watching these "Remarkable Disruptors" tell their stories this weekend.
Without giving too much away, as I would love you all to watch the live stream starting 10 a.m. UK time, here's a flavor of what you can expect.
There's Secret Walls, who give aspiring artists a creative platform to showcase their work globally. MistaJam, BBC Radio 1Xtra host. Ankit Shah, creator of Tea With Strangers. Patrick Kane overcame "insurmountable odds" with prosthetic limbs. Josh Valman, whose passion for robotics led him to consult with the world's largest manufacturing companies. Tim Exile, an innovative and creative musician and technologist. Trisha Prabhu, creator of "Rethink." Chantelle Brown Young, a self-described "vitiligo spokesperson." Gabi Holzwarth, a one-time street busker violinist who is now a regular performer at Silicon Valley tech parties. James Anderson, creator of Space Lounges. Erik Finman, creator of Botangle, an online learning community. Ashima Shiraishi, a 13-year-old known for being one of the strongest climbers of all time. David Saddington, a climate change activist. Beth Reekles, author and one of TIME magazine's "16 Most Influential Teenagers" in 2013. Are you getting the vibe?
This isn't just any gathering; this is a conference that completely focuses the conversation on teens and their power to change the world! It's hardly surprising therefore that TEDxTeen is hosted by We Are Family Foundation, which was founded by one of my idols -- yes we are indeed talking about the one and only Grammy award-winning musician Nile Rodgers. Yes, as well as having generations of teenagers "dance, dance, dance, dancing" to the sounds of Chic in our living rooms, Nile and his team are dedicated to educating the next generation about respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and inspiring teenagers to tell their stories. They have joined with Think Global School and O2 Think Big to bring you an awesome day.
And the best part? I get to stand on the stage and introduce these phenomenal teenagers who are exceptional loudmouths, astonishing aggravators and indeed, remarkable disruptors -- each presenting their unique vision. Be ready peeps -- its gonna be great!
TEDxTeen London will stream LIVE from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (GMT) on TEDxTeen.com, O2 ThinkBig (O2thinkbig.co.uk/livestream), MTV Act (act.mtv.com) and MTV Voices (mtvvoices.com).
Join us: #TEDxTeen / @TEDxTeen / @Tallia_Storm / Facebook.com/TEDxTeen