On March 3, 2018, The Country School will present TEDxTheCountrySchool, featuring an array of thought-provoking talks around the subject of Synergy. There will also be hands-on activities for attendees of all ages. The event, The Country School's second TEDx conference, is being organized by Country School teacher Laura Morrison and alumnus Ben Ballard '08, working with a team of students. Details on speakers are coming soon!


The History of TEDxTheCountrySchool

The Country School's first-ever TEDx conference, Spindrift, was held in April 2016. Inspiring talks were delivered by speakers of all ages, and participants were able to engage in a host of fun, thought-provoking activities. Huge thanks and kudos to Marina Sachs '07 for bringing TEDx to The Country School and sparking what has proven to be a popular Country School tradition.

Speakers at TEDxTheCountrySchool 2016

Sophia Harvey, Producer and Filmmaker. Sophia, a 2007 Country School graduate, is a writer, producer, and filmmaker based in NYC. By day, she works as the Manager of Creative Production at GKIDS, an internationally acclaimed art house distribution company that has 8 Academy Award nominations in the Animated Feature category. She also works on her own projects. "Yellow Heart," Sophia's latest film, premiered at Cannes Film Festival in May. Sophia's talk is about the upside of rejection and the trials of being a middle schooler.

Watch Sophia's talk, Rejection: It's a Good Thing

David Ryan Polgar, Tech Ethicist. David is a respected tech commentator whose ideas and thoughts concerning cyber ethics, business trends, and humanizing our online experience have been featured in The Boston Globe, Financial Times, Sydney Morning Herald, SirusXM, US News & World Report, Forbes, HuffPost Live, CNN.com, Inc.com, and more. Last year he co-founded the Digital Citizenship Summit, a global network of summits focused on the safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media/technology.

Watch David Ryan Polgar's talk, Being Human Online

Fourth Grade Poets, Poetry for Social Justice. Students from The Country School's 4th Grade shared their original work. Their impetus comes from a study of identity and belonging, and their overarching message is one of social justice and activism.


Geordann Daguplo, Singer-Songwriter. Geordann is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter based in West Haven, CT. His talk, interspersed with musical interludes, was about the importance of expressing feelings. When asked why he loves what he does, Geordann replied, "I love to capture the moment of where I am in my life and what inspires me at the time. Music can transcend any barrier, and is a universal language we can all feel.”

Watch Geordann Daguplo and Let's Talk About Music

Katie Davis, Author and Entrepreneur. Katie is the author of picture books and middle grade and young adult novels. Her How to Promote Your Children's Book became a #1 Amazon bestseller. Katie’s secret superpower is teaching tech- and marketing-phobic writers, so she created courses such as Video Idiot Boot Camp, How to Create Your Author Platform, and Launch Your Book Blueprint. She also co-created the first online conference of its kind, Picture Book Summit. Katie’s spoken at a maximum security prison, to students around the world in pre-k through college, including UCONN and Yale, and has keynoted conferences and fundraising galas. Recently Katie and her husband, Jerry Davis (Country School Class of 1974 and a film producer), took over the 47-year-old Institute of Children’s Literature, where over 404,000 people have taken college-level courses learning to write for both children and adults.

Watch Katie's talk, The Positive Power of Procrastination

Kolton Harris, Artist and Performer. In his talk, Flying in Place, Kolton shared a perfectly woven story that combined personal narrative and academic inquiry. Much more than a critical examination of the formation and role of Black Superheroes in American Comic Books, Kolton's talk challenged his audience with questions about identity and belonging, leaving us empowered to build ourselves into our own superheroes. Kolton, a speaker, artist, and performer from Groton, typically focuses attention on work that expresses the struggle of the modern black man, white privilege, and popular culture.


Watch Kolton's talk, Flying in Place

Matthew J Dicks, Novelist and Storyteller. Matthew is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, and The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide. He is also the author of the rock opera The Clowns and the musicals Caught in the Middle and Sticks & Stones. He is the co-host of Boy Vs. Girl, a podcast about gender and gender stereotypes. Matthew is a 20-time Moth StorySLAM and three-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on the nationally syndicated The Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He is also an elementary school teacher who iwas named West Hartford Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

Watch Matthew's talk, Speak Less, Expect More

Vidita Shah, Student Activist. Vidita is a 7th Grade student at Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford. She plays violin and piano, and draws inspiration from J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series. She is interested in issues surrounding prejudice, identity, and the powerful role young people as advocates for social justice.

Watch Vidita's talk, A Preconceived Misconception


Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED
or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted

TEDxTheCountrySchool News

Alumnus Starts TEDx at High School
Gordie Croce '16 was instrumental in running the inaugural TEDxTheCountrySchool conference. When he got to Pomfret School as a 9th Grader, he thought the program would be a natural fit there, too, so he launched TEDxPomfretSchool.
Read an article from Pomfret


Marina Sachs '07, TEDx Leader, is Person of the Week
The Source newspaper profiled Country School alumna and TEDxTheCountrySchool founder Marina Sachs .
Read the article.
Read a blog by of Head of School John Fixx.


TCS at TEDxYouthDay
Country School students attended TEDxYouth Day at Connecticut College. Gordie C., an 8th Grader, delivered a talk.


TEDxYouth event at TCS
Marina Sachs '07 and a young participant. More here.


TEDxTheCountrySchool organized a visit from State Troubadour Kristen Graves! More here.

TEDx on Alumni Day
A series of activities for students and alumni.


From a TEDx Workshop

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, onTED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

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